In college, there are two types of reviews you might be told to write:. A stand-alone assignment in a course as part of their training in research processes in your discipline. One approach to understanding the two types above is by going through already published reviews or the initial chapters of theses in your field. Examine the structure of their arguments and take note of the manner in which issues are addressed. It offers an excellent basis for researchers starting to research a new area by forcing them to summarize, examine, and compare original research in that particular area.
Undertaking a literature review: a step-by-step approach
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How to write a literature review
Sources covered in the review may include scholarly journal articles, books, government reports, Web sites, etc. The literature review provides a description, summary and evaluation of each source. It is usually presented as a distinct section of a graduate thesis or dissertation.
A literature review is an account of what has been published on a topic by accredited scholars and researchers. Occasionally you will be asked to write one as a separate assignment sometimes in the form of an annotated bibliography —see the bottom of the next page , but more often it is part of the introduction to an essay, research report, or thesis. 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 are.