A Brief Introduction to Research Paper Review of the Literature

Writing an outstanding review of literature requires scholarly maturity. It indicates that you have understood the concepts in a topic and that you are able to critique other people’s work. More so, it shows that you have conducted an extensive research on a topic. Understanding all the concepts that help you to write the review in a research is, therefore, pertinent.

Generally, a literature review will:

  • The offer the context of a research
  • Justify why a study must be conducted
  • Indicate that a study has not been conducted before
  • Point to places where a study h will fit in a field
  • Help a student to find what other scholars have written
  • Show how a study was conducted in the past
  • Point to the flaws of other studies
  • Highlight some of the gaps that must be filled through a survey
  • Demonstrate that the study will refine and change an understanding of a topic

To write a review of literature and include all the relevant concepts, a student should never be tempted to summarize points from various sources. Rather, they must synthesize or re-organize the concepts in such a way that the reader gets a clue on how they intend to conduct a survey. Various ideas can help them in this process. These are:

  • Interpreting old materials in a different way
  • Combining the new and old interpretation of materials
  • Consider concepts that have been used in debates on the topic before
  • Find the right sources so that one can identify the most relevant materials for synthesis

Notably, there are different types of literature reviews. Foremost, there is an argumentative review, which investigates and evaluates the existing materials with the aim of supporting an argument. The second type is the integrative review, where new frameworks and perspectives are created after a synthesis of different materials.

Third, there is a historical review, which focuses on placing a paper in a specific historical context. Fourth, there is the methodological review; this type focuses on how other researchers came to a certain conclusion. Fifth, there is a theoretical review, which establishes the theories that exist in a survey and how they are related.

Regardless of the type of literature review, a student should be ready to synthesize materials and portray that they have matured academically.

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