conducting a literature review
A review of the literature is a compilation of the research that has been published on a topic by recognized scholars and researchers. In writing the literature review, your purpose is to convey to your reader what knowledge and ideas have been established on a topic and what their strengths and weaknesses might be.
C. Identify gaps or areas of controversy in the literature.
The purpose of a literature review is to:
- Provide foundation of knowledge on topic
- Identify areas of prior scholarship to prevent duplication and give credit to other researchers
- Identify inconstancies: gaps in research, conflicts in previous studies, open questions left from other research
- Identify need for additional research (justifying your research)
- Identify the relationship of works in context of its contribution to the topic and to other works
- Place your own research within the context of existing literature making a case for why further study is needed.
A literature review is important because it:
A literature review is an integrated analysis— not just a summary– of scholarly writings and other relevant evidence related directly to your research question. That is, it represents a synthesis of the evidence that provides background information on your topic and shows a association between the evidence and your research question.
Many resources on research methodology include a chapter on literature review. Try these titles:
A literature review is a body of text that aims to review the critical points of current knowledge on a particular topic. Most often associated with science-oriented literature, such as a thesis, the literature review usually proceeds a research proposal, methodology and results section. Its ultimate goals is to bring the reader up to date with current literature on a topic and forms that basis for another goal, such as the justification for future research in the area. (retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Literature_review )