How to Write a Literature Review for Research Papers

How to Write a Literature Review for Research Papers
How to Write a Literature Review for Research Papers
As a rule, one is required to write a literature review as a part of a research paper, thesis or dissertation. For PhD theses and dissertations, this section is particularly important. Before conducting any research, it is necessary to convince the reader that this research will have useful results.

Literature reviews play a crucial role in this endeavour as they point out what research areas haven’t been studied yet. Therefore, it is essential that every researcher gets a clear idea of how to write a literature review.
Constituents of a Literature Review

Generally, this component of a research paper has to highlight the gaps in the existing information on the subject. In order to get to know how to write a literature review, you should learn that it comprises two parts:

1. Analysis.

It is important to remember that no summary is expected here. You have to actively process the information. You should resume what areas/questions were researched, what approaches were used and results obtained.

2. Synthesis.

It means that you need to draw certain valuable conclusions from the literature sources. This action implies that you should take all the important data found in various books, journals, case studies, etc. and combine it into the overview of a research field under discussion. When you synthesize this information, the lacunae in this scientific area become obvious.
What to Remember When Writing a Literature Review

Probably, the most important thing is to beware of including irrelevant information and summarizing data which you won’t need in your research.
Another very significant matter is that you use mostly up-to-date, contemporary literature sources. Remember to check that the publication of a certain book you use is the latest one available.
A literature review is a section where you will provide ideas from other people’s works. Consequently, formatting is of paramount importance. Check and double-check that you both cite and reference your sources according to the format prescribed.
Do not forget that a literature review will be a basis for your research. Therefore, you cannot make it a superficial one. By working hard on it, you ensure that you won’t have to go back to reviewing a number of books later when you encounter problems in your research.
A significant factor in knowing how to write a literature review is your ability to choose one of three approaches to it. These approaches are thematic, methodological and chronological.
One more thing to keep in mind is that your literature review needs to have a structure consisting of an introduction, main body and conclusions. It is not an essay, but your ideas should flow logically and artlessly lead to some results.

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