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A literature review can be a precursor to the introduction of a research paper, or it can be an entire paper in itself, acting as the first stage of large research projects and allowing the supervisor to ascertain that the student is on the correct path.A literature review is a critical and in depth evaluation of previous research.Whilst some literature reviews can be presented in a chronological order, this is best avoided.
It can be helpful to structure your internet research as if it were conducted on paper.
Bookmark papers, which may be relevant, in one folder and make another subfolder for a ‘shortlist.’ Conducting a good literature review takes patience and is a matter of practice.
This will give you and your reader an overview of the significant literature published on a topic. Determine the topic or field that is being examined and its components or issues. Find materials relevant to the subject being explored. Evaluate the data to determine which literature makes a significant contribution to the understanding of the topic. Separate out those materials which contain the best argument or those that are the most convincing of their opinions and which make the greatest contribution to the understanding and development of their area of research. Choosing works by experts in their field gives authority to the materials.
Ask yourself, are the author's arguments supported by evidence (e.g.
As part of a research study or paper you may need to identify and review relevant information on a specific topic.
Often times your instructor will ask you to conduct a review of the literature.
Evaluating the credibility of sources is one of the most difficult aspects of a literature review, especially with the ease of finding information on the internet.
The only real way to evaluate is through experience, but there are luckily a few tricks for evaluating information quickly and accurately. Google does not distinguish or judge the quality of results, only how search engine friendly a paper is.
The Literature Reviews: An Overview for Graduate Students video from North Carolina State University provides an excellent introduction to conducting an extensive literature review for a course assignment, thesis, or other research.
In conducting a literature review you will want to survey scholarly journal articles, books, and other sources (e.g.