24 x 7 Online Help
Get free samples written by our Top-Notch subject experts for taking online assignment help
One of the most important aspects while conducting research for a dissertation or any of that sort is the literature review. By the term literature review, it can be meant to be as a summary of previously conducted research on a specific topic. It includes research conducted in scholarly articles, journals e-books, and even other research papers. The main purpose of the literature review is to provide the researcher a general overview of any previously conducted research that has been done on that specific chosen topic. Various researchers across the globe have or might work on various different topics and therefore their opinions and findings can help to understand get a clear theoretical framework of the existing topic. Literature review mostly appears in academic journals and is one of the most important aspects of the research as it dates back and analyses the conclusions and findings of previous researchers about the specific topic. The literature review is believed to be one of the most important elements while conducting research, especially whenever working with secondary sources of data. The literature review is mainly connected to the research question which identifies and understands the topic selected for the research. The opinions of previous researchers, their arguments, and evidence act as a major element in completing an empirical research project which provides the greatest source of knowledge to the already addressed topic (Xiao & Watson, 2019).
Overview of nature of Literature Review
In simple terms, a literature review is used to evaluate, analyze and identify any relevant literature that is existent about the current topic of research. It mainly works to understand how much the topic of research has has evolved in the field of education and to what extent this evolvement has taken place which is both accepted and researched upon by other eminent authors. It allows the research to have a wider scope of knowledge and understand and eliminate whatever isn’t necessary to conduct the research. In most cases, literature review acts as one of the most important tools that identify a research gap and also illuminates how the specific research in a dress such research gap and make a difference. The term literature refers to any pre-published information that is available on a specific research topic. Literature review reviews such a pre-published work and understands the trends and findings conducted by the previous researchers in order to improve the quality of the research and understand if there are any research gaps and conclude about the own findings. Literature review in a broad sense subdivides the various aspects and areas of the research and conflicts with any problems or issues that have remained unsolved in previous work to shorten or deal with the research gap. In certain cases, literature review acts as a major contributing factor that works to establish facts compare and contrast the area of research and ads to any ongoing debates within the field that can be necessary for the research to be conclusive and accurate.
A literature review does not restrict itself to any single source but it is a wider concept that allows relying on various sources that are necessary to understand the previous works done. One of the most important characteristics of a literature review is that it revolves around analyzing and synthesizing previously conducted research (Pautasso, 2019). With more than one source to rely on the contradiction in opinions and findings are ample in number which allows the research to be diverse while being connected to the main topic of research. It critically analyzes the findings and the agreements of disagreements of the previously conducted research and filters whatever is necessary to be used in order to provide better knowledge and understanding about the chosen topic of research.
It generally covers one of the largest areas of the main research as it allows the researchers to connect their own research with that of the previously conducted and compare to what extent has there been a change in the trends and areas of that specific field in research. Literature reviews are mostly short in nature which can be presented in various books or journal articles. But while dealing with an entire research study literature review works mainly to identify the research gap and contradict and compare the need for further research and how much would be the contribution of the researcher in this specific field of study. Literature review in a research study mainly concentrates to provide a background study of the research. It allows the research to clarify and evaluate any areas of disagreement or controversy and identify the research gaps that have been on explode previously.
How to conduct a good Literature Review
As being one of the most important aspects to be performed while conducting research, a flawless literature review speaks volumes about the research itself (Rewhorn, 2018). It is extremely crucial to provide extra attention towards the literature review as a majority of the research questions are answered there themselves. There can be various methods in ways of conducting a literature review yet the most promising way to conduct a literature review is stated as below –
The first and most important step that comes before conducting a literature review is to choose a topic that is relevant and can be discussed. Choosing and finding the research questions which can be answered through the means of a literature review is also an important step that needs to be conducted. The literature review represents the background of the research with its development that has been taken place in the past. Therefore choosing the topic that is both relevant, complex but manageable is the first and the most important task to be performed before conducting a literature review. The topic selection cannot be very generalized and should be narrowed down to a specific field of study so that finding literature for research papers is easier in comparison. This will allow the topic to be both unique as well as well versed for the audience.
Searching for literature
The next step to conduct an accurate literature review is to find the proper literature about the relevant topic. It can be through various means like books, journals, previous research papers, and various other sources or criteria depending upon the topic of the research. By using accurate keywords to search a library it would be easier for the researcher to find the source of the literature and use it in the right method so that accuracy of the research can be maintained. Finding the right and accurate database through which the research is to be conducted and sources are to be gathered is a step that requires special attention and needs to be done efficiently (Snyder, 2019).
Evaluation of the articles
Once relevant sources are gathered for the literature review it is believed to be the most important task to evaluate and read through the articles that have been found so as to draw a conclusive analysis about the study that has been previously conducted. A few things like the assumptions that were made by the previous researchers, the methodologies used, any theories that have been used which might be conflicting and the procedure of conducting the study are the most important things that need to be checked whenever reading and evaluating through these articles.
Organizing through the papers
It is important to check the development and field of study of research previously conducted. For such development to happen a pattern must be followed which might be chronological so that any development about the topic of the research can be properly detected and traced. This specific step in conducting the literature review would allow the researcher to understand the extent of the findings and conducting the entire literature review would be a lot easier. Therefore understanding and organizing the findings which might be common, checking the trends, and mentioning the most influential theories by previous researchers is the way to get this step done effortlessly.
Review the literature
Once all the sources for the literature review are gathered and organized in a specific manner it is important to review them once again to check whether they are relevant and they serve the purpose of conducting the entire research. Questions like whether they are in sync with the research methodologies and whether the findings will help to reduce the research gap are a few examples that are to be kept in mind. Once the researcher has reviewed the sources for literature review it can be proceeded to efficiently conduct an accurate literature review about the specified research topic (Asmussen & Moller, 2019).
Guidance on a good literature review
There are various factors that together help to make a literature review stand apart from others. In the case of a good literature review, it is extremely important and relevant to conduct the research accurately so that the relevance of the research is highlighted and is useful for its audience. Therefore to conduct such a literature review the elements that can help the researcher are as follows-
Scope of search
The first thing that researchers should keep in mind while conducting the literature review is to widen the scope of the search as much as possible. Having a wider scope of the search will allow the researcher to gather more distinctive information about the entire topic of study and that would allow the researcher to bring about major changes that would help the literature review to be e brilliant.
For any good literature review to be relevant and consistent the most important factor is to check whether it has been properly cited previously. The higher number of citations generally indicates the relevancy of the research which gives a vague idea about the importance of the article or study in the entire field of the research (Faryadi, 2018).
The easiest and finest way to upgrade the quality of the literature review is to find and identify the right keywords that can help the research abundantly. With the help of accurate keywords, the researcher can find relevant sources to conduct the research that will help the literature review to stand apart from the usual lot.
In order to avoid repetition of work and save time for the research to be conducted the topic is extremely important and necessary so that the literature review does not seem too lengthy or repetitive. Searching through a specific library and bookmarking it are a few of the techniques that can be used by researchers so that they stick to a specific collection of sources for their research and do not repeat the same thing over time and again (Rufner, 2020).
To conclude it can be said that literature review is important and extremely needed to conduct a research study effortlessly so that the entire research can be relevant and useful for its audience. Good research on the literature review can help the researcher understand the topic well and also about the relevance the topic has in different and various fields of study. This will allow the researcher to widen and broaden the scope of knowledge that can be incorporated within the research so that the research gap that is existent can be filled easily. The main aim of a literature review is to address the research gap that is existent and find methods and ways of how that can be filled with the current research. With the help of various tools and techniques, such a problem can be managed and researchers as of current date can conduct studies that are not just useful but also relevant and informative. Using influential theories by eminent authors and researchers will also give the research a newer aspect the can be utilized to increase and enhance the quality of the research in the best way possible. Therefore special attention is needed to be paid to the literature review and how it is conducted so that the quality of the entire research does not fall and becomes all the more informative and preferred by various other researchers in their future endeavours and studies (Hendley, 2019).
Asmussen, C.B. and Møller, C., 2019. Smart literature review: a practical topic modelling approach to exploratory literature review. Journal of Big Data, 6(1), pp.1-18.
Faryadi, Q., 2018. PhD Thesis Writing Process: A Systematic Approach—How to Write Your Literature Review. Creative Education, 9(16), pp.2912-2919.
Hendley, A.O., 2019. Recounting the Conversation: Learning How to Write a Literature Review.
Pautasso, M., 2019. The structure and conduct of a narrative literature review. A Guide to the Scientific Career: Virtues, Communication, Research and Academic Writing, pp.299-310.
Rewhorn, S., 2018. Writing your successful literature review. Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 42(1), pp.143-147.
Rufner, S., 2020. How to Write a Literature Review. Writing and the Sciences: An Anthology.
Snyder, H., 2019. Literature review as a research methodology: An overview and guidelines. Journal of business research, 104, pp.333-339.
Xiao, Y. and Watson, M., 2019. Guidance on conducting a systematic literature review. Journal of Planning Education and Research, 39(1), pp.93-112.