Explain the background of research on a topic, illuminates what has been researched
Demonstrate why a topic is significant to a subject area
Identify major themes, concepts, and researchers on a topic
Highlight critical gaps, points of disagreement, or potentially flawed methodology or theoretical approaches
Discuss further research questions that logically come out of the previous studies
A literature review is a systematic review of the published literature on a specific topic or research question. The literature review is designed to analyze-- not just summarize-- scholarly writings that are related directly to your research question.
Literature Reviews are sometimes one part of a scholarly article, sometimes they are the whole article.
Do the sources present one or different solutions?
Is there an aspect of the field that is missing in the sources you read?
How well do the sources present the material and do they portray it according to an appropriate theory?
Do they reveal a trend in the field? Or a raging debate?
Use quotes sparingly
Summarize and synthesize
Keep your own voice
Use caution when paraphrasing
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