The literature review is one of the most important and integral part of any research study. It usually follows after the research question and hypothesis.
The purpose of literature review
1. Insight to the researcher
The literature review is included in research for several reasons. The first and the most important reason for the literature review is that it provides great insight to the researcher. The researcher understands what other writers or researchers have already done and they start their research in the light of available knowledge. When a researcher starts a study he/she has little knowledge of that topic but as he/she studies body of available knowledge he become better acquainted with the topic. The literature review helps you expand your knowledge.
2. Answers the research question
The literature review provides possible answers to the research questions. The researcher may understand the different dimensions of the research from these dimensions he can get an idea about further actions. The research study becomes more specific and to the point.
3. To narrow down research problem
The literature review can be used to narrow down the research problem. By reading body of literature you can easily resolve several important and basic questions about your research.
4. Insight to the readers
The literature review is closely related to your research problem, therefore, it provides the readers an insight about your research.
5. Flaws in existing researches
The literature review also highlights the weaknesses in existing previous researches. It helps the reader know what your research can find out which is not available already.
6. The basic purpose and aim of literature review remains same regardless of the study and the type of study you are conducting.
How to write a literature review in research
Writing literature review is not that difficult and most of the research studies follow similar methods. There are some tips for writing a literature review in a research study.
You should organize the literature review in your research study. Good organization is a must for providing better insight to the readers and to the researcher himself. You should organize the literature review in sections, divide your research study in sections or themes and in each section write some reviews.
The reviews should be written in a summarized manner, do not try to include everything in the literature review. Only include very relevant reviews that highlight your research.
The literature review should be precisely related to your research area and your research topic. Do not add anything in your research study, be precise about your research.
4. Well narrated
The literature review should be written in a manner that you can easily understand one review after another. Write in order and do not write haphazard paragraphs.
Best sources of literature review
The literature review can be done using any of the several sources available today. These sources include primary and secondary sources.
1. Primary sources
Primary sources can be many including letters, diaries, memoirs, biographies, research articles and many more. Some of the experiments conducted by the scientists can also be used as a source for literature review.
2. Secondary sources
Secondary sources include books, magazines, journals, periodicals, internet articles, and documentaries.