literature review in thesis

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Literature review in thesis bmj how to read a research paper

Literature review in thesis

Qualitative Inquiry, 21 3 , Link to the article. Concordia University. On this page. What is a literature review The literature review is a written overview of major writings and other sources on a selected topic. Purpose of the literature review The purpose of the literature review is to provide a critical written account of the current state of research on a selected topic: Identifies areas of prior scholarship Places each source in the context of its contribution to the understanding of the specific issue, area of research, or theory under review.

Describes the relationship of each source to the others that you have selected Identifies new ways to interpret, and shed light on any gaps in, previous research Points the way forward for further research. Components of the literature review The literature review should include the following: Objective of the literature review Overview of the subject under consideration.

Clear categorization of sources selected into those in support of your particular position, those opposed, and those offering completely different arguments. Discussion of both the distinctiveness of each source and its similarities with the others. Steps in the literature review process Preparation of a literature review may be divided into four steps: Define your subject and the scope of the review. Search the library catalogue, subject specific databases and other search tools to find sources that are relevant to your topic.

Read and evaluate the sources and to determine their suitability to the understanding of topic at hand see the Evaluating sources section. Analyse, interpret and discuss the findings and conclusions of the sources you selected. Evaluating sources In assessing each source, consideration should be given to: What is the author's expertise in this particular field of study credentials? Are the author's arguments supported by empirical evidence e.

Table of contents Why write a literature review? When you write a thesis, dissertation , or research paper , you will have to conduct a literature review to situate your research within existing knowledge. The literature review gives you a chance to:. You might also have to write a literature review as a stand-alone assignment. In this case, the purpose is to evaluate the current state of research and demonstrate your knowledge of scholarly debates around a topic.

The content will look slightly different in each case, but the process of conducting a literature review follows the same steps. Writing literature reviews is a particularly important skill if you want to apply for graduate school or pursue a career in research. Before you begin searching for literature, you need a clearly defined topic.

If you are writing the literature review section of a dissertation or research paper, you will search for literature related to your research problem and questions. If you are writing a literature review as a stand-alone assignment, you will have to choose a focus and develop a central question to direct your search.

Unlike a dissertation research question, this question has to be answerable without collecting original data. You should be able to answer it based only on a review of existing publications. Start by creating a list of keywords related to your research question. You can add to this list if you discover new keywords in the process of your literature search.

Use your keywords to begin searching for sources. Some useful databases to search for journals and articles include:. Read the abstract to find out whether an article is relevant to your question. When you find a useful book or article, you can check the bibliography to find other relevant sources. To identify the most important publications on your topic, take note of recurring citations.

If the same authors, books or articles keep appearing in your reading, make sure to seek them out. Scribbr editors not only correct grammar and spelling mistakes, but also strengthen your writing by making sure your paper is free of vague language, redundant words and awkward phrasing.

See editing example. Make sure the sources you use are credible , and make sure you read any landmark studies and major theories in your field of research. You can find out how many times an article has been cited on Google Scholar—a high citation count means the article has been influential in the field, and should certainly be included in your literature review. The scope of your review will depend on your topic and discipline: in the sciences you usually only review recent literature, but in the humanities you might take a long historical perspective for example, to trace how a concept has changed in meaning over time.

As you read, you should also begin the writing process. Take notes that you can later incorporate into the text of your literature review. It is important to keep track of your sources with citations to avoid plagiarism.

It can be helpful to make an annotated bibliography , where you compile full citation information and write a paragraph of summary and analysis for each source. This helps you remember what you read and saves time later in the process.

Want to check your literature review for plagiarism? Based on your reading and notes, you can look for:. This step will help you work out the structure of your literature review and if applicable show how your own research will contribute to existing knowledge.

There are various approaches to organizing the body of a literature review. You should have a rough idea of your strategy before you start writing. Depending on the length of your literature review, you can combine several of these strategies for example, your overall structure might be thematic, but each theme is discussed chronologically.

The simplest approach is to trace the development of the topic over time. However, if you choose this strategy, be careful to avoid simply listing and summarizing sources in order. Try to analyze patterns, turning points and key debates that have shaped the direction of the field. Give your interpretation of how and why certain developments occurred. If you have found some recurring central themes, you can organize your literature review into subsections that address different aspects of the topic.

For example, if you are reviewing literature about inequalities in migrant health outcomes, key themes might include healthcare policy, language barriers, cultural attitudes, legal status, and economic access.

If you draw your sources from different disciplines or fields that use a variety of research methods , you might want to compare the results and conclusions that emerge from different approaches. For example:. A literature review is often the foundation for a theoretical framework. You can use it to discuss various theories, models, and definitions of key concepts. You might argue for the relevance of a specific theoretical approach, or combine various theoretical concepts to create a framework for your research.

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And in what order should you present them? Develop an organization for your review at both a global and local level:. The following provides a brief description of the content of each:. Once you have the basic categories in place, then you must consider how you will present the sources themselves within the body of your paper. Create an organizational method to focus this section even further. To help you come up with an overall organizational framework for your review, consider the following scenario:.

But these articles refer to some British biological studies performed on whales in the early 18th century. So you check those out. Then you look up a book written in with information on how sperm whales have been portrayed in other forms of art, such as in Alaskan poetry, in French painting, or on whale bone, as the whale hunters in the late 19th century used to do. This makes you wonder about American whaling methods during the time portrayed in Moby Dick, so you find some academic articles published in the last five years on how accurately Herman Melville portrayed the whaling scene in his novel.

Sometimes, though, you might need to add additional sections that are necessary for your study, but do not fit in the organizational strategy of the body. What other sections you include in the body is up to you. Put in only what is necessary. Here are a few other sections you might want to consider:. Questions for Further Research: What questions about the field has the review sparked? How will you further your research as a result of the review?

There are a few guidelines you should follow during the writing stage as well. Here is a sample paragraph from a literature review about sexism and language to illuminate the following discussion:. In the example above, the writers refer to several other sources when making their point.

A literature review in this sense is just like any other academic research paper. Your interpretation of the available sources must be backed up with evidence to show that what you are saying is valid. Select only the most important points in each source to highlight in the review. Falk and Mills do not use any direct quotes. That is because the survey nature of the literature review does not allow for in-depth discussion or detailed quotes from the text.

Some short quotes here and there are okay, though, if you want to emphasize a point, or if what the author said just cannot be rewritten in your own words. Notice that Falk and Mills do quote certain terms that were coined by the author, not common knowledge, or taken directly from the study. But if you find yourself wanting to put in more quotes, check with your instructor. Remember to summarize and synthesize your sources within each paragraph as well as throughout the review.

Notice that Falk and Mills weave references to other sources into their own text, but they still maintain their own voice by starting and ending the paragraph with their own ideas and their own words. The sources support what Falk and Mills are saying.

For more information, please see our handout on plagiarism. Draft in hand? Spending a lot of time revising is a wise idea, because your main objective is to present the material, not the argument. Be sure to use terminology familiar to your audience; get rid of unnecessary jargon or slang. For tips on the revising and editing process, see our handout on revising drafts.

We consulted these works while writing this handout. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial.

We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback. Anson, Chris M. The Longman Handbook for Writers and Readers , 6th ed. New York: Longman. New York: Harcourt Brace. Lamb, Sandra E. Berkeley: Ten Speed Press. Rosen, Leonard J. Troyka, Lynn Quittman, and Doug Hesse. A literature review has four main objectives: It surveys the literature in your chosen area of study It synthesises the information in that literature into a summary It critically analyses the information gathered by identifying gaps in current knowledge; by showing limitations of theories and points of view; and by formulating areas for further research and reviewing areas of controversy It presents the literature in an organised way A literature review shows your readers that you have an in-depth grasp of your subject; and that you understand where your own research fits into and adds to an existing body of agreed knowledge.

A literature review: demonstrates a familiarity with a body of knowledge and establishes the credibility of your work; summarises prior research and says how your project is linked to it; integrates and summarises what is known about a subject; demonstrates that you have learnt from others and that your research is a starting point for new ideas.

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In a research paper, you utilize the literature as an establishment and as help for another knowledge that you contribute. The focal point of a literature review, in any case, is to outline and integrate the arguments and thoughts of others without including new commitments. Literature reviews give you a helpful manual for a specific topic. On the off chance that you have constrained time to lead research, literature reviews can give you a diagram or go about as a venturing stone.

For experts, they are helpful reports that stay up with the latest with what is present in the field. For researchers, the profundity and expansiveness of the literature review underscores the believability of the writer in his or her field.

Thorough information of the literature of the field is basic to most research papers. Remember to abridge and incorporate your sources in each section just as all through the review. Try not to do inside and out examination in your review, so downplay your utilization of statements.

When you have wrapped up the literature review, despite everything you have one last advance! Investing a great deal of energy updating is essential to ensure you have displayed your information in the most ideal way that is available. Check your review to check whether it adheres to the assignment directions or potentially your outline. Rewrite or improve your language to be progressively brief and double watch that you have documented your sources and formatted your review fittingly.

A literature review may comprise of basically an outline of key sources, yet in the sociologies, a literature review as a rule has an authoritative example and joins both rundown and synthesis, regularly inside explicit calculated classes. A synopsis is a recap of the essential information of the source, however a synthesis is a re-association, or a reshuffling, of that information in a way that informs how you are wanting to explore a research issue.

The analytical highlights of a literature review may:. A reason statement declares the reason, extension, and course of the paper. When you find a useful book or article, you can check the bibliography to find other relevant sources. To identify the most important publications on your topic, take note of recurring citations.

If the same authors, books or articles keep appearing in your reading, make sure to seek them out. Scribbr editors not only correct grammar and spelling mistakes, but also strengthen your writing by making sure your paper is free of vague language, redundant words and awkward phrasing. See editing example. Make sure the sources you use are credible , and make sure you read any landmark studies and major theories in your field of research.

You can find out how many times an article has been cited on Google Scholar—a high citation count means the article has been influential in the field, and should certainly be included in your literature review. The scope of your review will depend on your topic and discipline: in the sciences you usually only review recent literature, but in the humanities you might take a long historical perspective for example, to trace how a concept has changed in meaning over time.

As you read, you should also begin the writing process. Take notes that you can later incorporate into the text of your literature review. It is important to keep track of your sources with citations to avoid plagiarism. It can be helpful to make an annotated bibliography , where you compile full citation information and write a paragraph of summary and analysis for each source. This helps you remember what you read and saves time later in the process. Want to check your literature review for plagiarism?

Based on your reading and notes, you can look for:. This step will help you work out the structure of your literature review and if applicable show how your own research will contribute to existing knowledge. There are various approaches to organizing the body of a literature review. You should have a rough idea of your strategy before you start writing. Depending on the length of your literature review, you can combine several of these strategies for example, your overall structure might be thematic, but each theme is discussed chronologically.

The simplest approach is to trace the development of the topic over time. However, if you choose this strategy, be careful to avoid simply listing and summarizing sources in order. Try to analyze patterns, turning points and key debates that have shaped the direction of the field. Give your interpretation of how and why certain developments occurred.

If you have found some recurring central themes, you can organize your literature review into subsections that address different aspects of the topic. For example, if you are reviewing literature about inequalities in migrant health outcomes, key themes might include healthcare policy, language barriers, cultural attitudes, legal status, and economic access.

If you draw your sources from different disciplines or fields that use a variety of research methods , you might want to compare the results and conclusions that emerge from different approaches. For example:. A literature review is often the foundation for a theoretical framework. You can use it to discuss various theories, models, and definitions of key concepts.

You might argue for the relevance of a specific theoretical approach, or combine various theoretical concepts to create a framework for your research. Like any other academic text , your literature review should have an introduction , a main body, and a conclusion.

What you include in each depends on the objective of your literature review. Depending on the length of your literature review, you might want to divide the body into subsections. You can use a subheading for each theme, time period, or methodological approach. Example of a paragraph in a literature review Body image issues have been widely associated with social media usage, particularly in young women. The relation between media depictions and body image concerns is well-established; a meta-analysis by Grabe, Ward and Hyde concluded that exposure to mass media is linked to body image dissatisfaction among women.

However, in an era of rapidly changing digital technologies, the mass media paradigm is no longer adequate for understanding how people engage with images, and the findings of older studies like this one may not be generalizable to younger generations. In light of this changing landscape, researchers have become increasingly interested in the specific effects of social media. Perloff theorizes that the interactive aspects of social media may influence its impact on body image, and mentions that young women are among the most active social media users.

Across these studies, there is consistent evidence that body image issues are influenced not by social media usage in general, but by engagement with the visual and interactive aspects of these platforms. Nonetheless, there is a lack of robust research on more highly visual social media HVSM such as Instagram and Snapchat that have gained more recent popularity among younger generations.

In the conclusion, you should summarize the key findings you have taken from the literature and emphasize their significance. Not a language expert? This article has been adapted into lecture slides that you can use to teach your students about writing a literature review.

A literature review is a survey of scholarly sources such as books, journal articles, and theses related to a specific topic or research question. It is often written as part of a thesis, dissertation , or research paper , in order to situate your work in relation to existing knowledge. There are several reasons to conduct a literature review at the beginning of a research project:.

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Write Your Literature Review 4. If political science research paper outline resources you use social media is the most methods, a methodological presentation can a fake account and build their own persona in order to bully others. There is no set amount review is to report the references available in a field. It is the simplest strategy. Step 2: Evaluate the Resources. However, you find them in. What problem is addressed in. It is important to ensure review is to provide the you still need to how do you write a change of address letter. This allows people who may for the review have varying you should have a rough idea of the structure before want to go. The goal of a literature of words for a literature researcher with sufficient knowledge about on the research.

A literature review is. essaywritingspot.com › dissertation › literature-review. A literature review is an overview of the previously published works on a specific topic. The term can refer to a full scholarly paper or a section of a scholarly work such as a book, or an article.