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Study guide For a printer-friendly PDF version of this guide, click here This Study Guide explains why literature reviews are needed, and how they can be conducted and reported.
Related Study Guides are: Referencing and bibliographiesAvoiding plagiarismWriting a dissertationWhat is critical reading? What is critical writing? The focus of the Study Guide is the literature review within a dissertation or a thesis, but many of the ideas are transferable to other kinds of writing, such as an extended essay, or a report.
What is a literature review? The ability to review, and to report on relevant literature is a key academic skill. To some extent, particularly with postgraduate research, the literature review can become a project in itself.
It is an important showcase of your talents of: The process of conducting and reporting your literature review can help you clarify your own thoughts about your study. It can also establish a framework within which to present and analyse the findings.
After reading your literature review, it should be clear to the reader that you have up-to-date awareness of the relevant work of others, and that the research question you are asking is relevant.
Be wary of saying that your research will solve a problem, or that it will change practice. Why do I need a literature review?
When readers come to your assignment, dissertation, or thesis, they will not just assume that your research or analysis is a good idea; they will want to be persuaded that it is relevant and that it was worth doing. They will ask questions such as: What research question s are you asking?
Has anyone else done anything similar? What is already known or understood about this topic? How might your research add to this understanding, or challenge existing theories and beliefs?
These are questions that you will already probably be asking yourself. You will also need to be ready to answer them in a viva if you will be having one.
A critical review It is important that your literature review is more than just a list of references with a short description of each one. What is critical reading? This very short statement contains some key concepts, which are examined in the table below.
The term now encompasses a wide range of web-based sources, in addition to the more traditional books and print journals.Uk essays writing examples pdf An apology essay elephant Writing research paper outline literature review An essay about scotland educational tour changing life essay lifestyles essay structure with example .
With small-scale writing projects, the literature review is likely to be done just once; probably before the writing begins.
With longer projects such as a dissertation for a Masters degree, and certainly with a PhD, the literature review process will be more extended.
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A tour through the basics of doing research. How Your Sources Answer Your Question This handout provides some useful suggestions for analyzing your sources before writing the Literature Review. Describing Sources provides a good and bad example of describing how a .