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How to Write Literature Review

Unlike the book review, a literature review conducts an investigation of scholarly articles, books and other sources (dissertations, conference and other meetings reports) germane to a precise problem, research area, carrying out an explanation, synopsis and censorious estimation of every work. The aim is to propose a review of essential literature published on a topic.

As usual, literature review should have following stages:

  • problem designation – what topic or area is being studied and what are its composing questions;
  • literature search – seeking for materials significant to the examined subject;
  • data estimation  defining what literature makes a substantial contribution to the comprehension of the topic;
  • analysis and rendition – counseling the discoveries and inferences of the appropriate literature;

Literature review should include the next components:

  • a review of the topic, question or theory under discussion, alongside with the purposes of the literature review;
  • dividing of works under overview into different groups (e.g. works which bear out the appointed position, those opposite, and the works proposing completely alternative point);
  • exemplifying how each work is corresponding and what are the differences between them;
  • Inferences as to which parts are best thought-out in the proofs, are most persuading of their convictions, and make the most important contribution to the development and understanding of the studied area.

In estimating each piece, discussion should be given to:

  • Source – what credential does each author has, the back up of the author’s proofs (e.g.  historical background, previous studies samples, stories, surveys, recent scientific discoveries);
  • Impartiality – the consideration about the challengeability of the author’s thoughts, does the author take into consideration the contrary data;
  • Cogency – comparison of the author’s theses to be the most/least persuasive;
  • Important – what contributions each of the author’s proofs make to the understanding of the problem?

A literature review is an important part of the thesis or dissertation or can be presented as an independent review of sources on a subject. The main purposes of the literature review are: to dispose each work depending on its contribution to the understanding of the overviewed subject; to describe the relations between the each source; to identify the new directions of the previous works explanation; to settle the controversies between the apparently conflicting last investigations; to identify the areas and ways for future investigations.

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