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How to Write a Review of Literature - Words Doctorate

Dr Elena Huber
How to Write a Review of Literature - Words Doctorate

The Process to Write Literature Review

The review of literature for a research paper must undergo very meticulously created foregrounds to meet the research purpose. The most efficient way to write a review of literature is to have a determined aim and purpose of the research. As you gain the right purpose and aim of the research, the database search as on – EBSCOHost, Google Scholar, ProQuest, The Lancet, Elsevier, Sage, JSTOR; for relevant articles and secondary sources becomes very clear.

Every subject possesses its database sources. The right database confirms the right selection of the right sources. For instance, kindly note the databases for the following subjects-

The process to Write Literature Review

As per your selected subject, you need to search your secondary sources from the subject-specific database. Consider collecting data based on appropriate keywords. The attained sources can be in the form of books, peer-reviewed journals, bibliographies, empirical/evidence-based scholarly articles, dissertations and theses, conference proceedings and papers, or grey literature.

With relevant research articles and papers in hand, you can start with the review of the relevant articles. For this process, you need to under go the following process-

The process to Write Literature Review - Words Doctorate

Identify Familiarity with Your Research Topic

The foremost step is to read all the articles, research papers, books, to identify the familiarity of these sources with your research topic, aim and objectives. Reject all those articles and secondary sources that are not coming close to your research.

Analyse in Terms of Scholarly Context

Analyse each of the selected articles as per their results and derivations. Make sure that all the attained results are in close proximity to your research topic.

Separate Theoretical Content from Empirical Derivations

Shuffle the collected secondary sources as per their theoretical and empirical approaches

Develop Appropriate Theoretical Framework

Based on the theoretical discussions and applications to the relevantly connected topic, identify the theories that will fit your research pathway. Develop an appropriate theoretical framework based on the right selections.

Enlist Empirical Results

Make a list of all the derivations that are attained from the empirical research works. This is listing is important as it will connect your research to some ground realities. 

Identify Research Gaps

Based on the theoretical and empirical derivations, create a list of newly gathered knowledge about your research topic. Try to find out if the theoretical and empirical information could meet your research objectives. Try to strive for answers to your research question. With the uniqueness of your research topic, you are sure to gain some gaps between the attained research papers and your research objectives. Determine the gaps based on appropriate debate and argumentative approaches.  

Writing the Literature Review

Literature Review in a dissertation aims to gain extensive knowledge about the research topic. It is also subject to find the research gaps, to pursue new research in the same domain. The following proceedings are to be followed while writing a review of literature.

Theme Specific

Create the major themes that you are going to understand or analyse in the Literature Review. These themes should be generated from your research aim, purpose, and objectives. Remain theme-specific while reviewing the literature. Do not start every paragraph by using the name of the researcher or author. It will bring in the impression that you are more carried away with the count of including researchers in the Review of Literature, rather than concentrating on relevant themes.

Argumentative Approach

Research relevant secondary papers must get evaluated as per their approach to resolving your concern in the selected field. For this purpose remain argumentative and consider debatable aspects to justify the inclusion of the findings in the literature review. Try to understand the new idea led by the researcher or the author. Offer a critical point of view as per similar findings by other researchers or authors. Give contradictory statements if you can justify the same. Try to analyse if the attained new declaration fits into your research objectives.

Comparative Analysis

Always develop argumentative statements by offering comparative analysis between the points of views of different scholars. It is important that while comparing the varied point of views, you offer necessary justifications. The comparative analysis must show that the researchers are though not wrong, yet could not be considered the same concerning the topics that you are handling. Deliver an analytical understanding of the contexts and compare them with similar contexts with close proximities.    

Clustered Referencing

Offer comparative analysis. Do not just describe what the researchers are saying about the relevant subject, but try to offer clustered point of view. For instance,

Instead of:

Shaw (2015) stated that management trainees should get knowledge about the usage of social media. Hopkins (2018) stated that the social media related usage should be made aware to the management trainees under legal proceedings. According to Anderson (2020), the management trainees should know the legal protocols about using social media.

Consider writing:

The management trainees should be aware of all kinds of legal protocols on using social media (Shaw, 2015; Hopkins, 2018; and Anderson, 2020).

Logical Connectivity

In most cases, a research paper gets rejected if the research fails to keep the logical connection between the paragraphs. Your writing should always have similar context and words at the end of the paragraph, and the same should be used at least once at the beginning of the next paragraph. This will bring a kind of synchronisation in the research approach. It is always suggested that you should distribute your Literature Review under different subheadings. As these subheadings will function under specific heading the logical connectivity can be easily established. 

Justifications on Research Gaps

A Literature Review aims to collect all kinds of information related to the research topics. However, there remain relevant gaps that are not addressed by the former researcher. These gaps are subject to be bridged by the current researcher and hence the relevance of the current research. It is in this concern that the detection of appropriate gaps becomes mandatory. However, it is also very necessary that the identified gaps are supported by an adequate amount of justification. For this purpose, you need to show that you have explored many scholarly works and still failed to get an answer to your research question.

Dr Elena Huber
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