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How to write a Literature Review

During your academic life, you will most likely stumble upon the need to write literature reviews for an assignment or maybe for some other academic requirements. A literature review is a piece of writing that provides readers with an evaluation of a certain literature by analyzing, summarizing and clarifying the information and ideas that it contains. It primarily focuses on the strengths and weaknesses of the arguments, information, and ideas presented in the particular literature.

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Writing literature reviews has its own importance. It just shows how much knowledge and understanding you have gained from the topic or literature. Literature reviews help you compare your research with other related research and provides you with the information about different methods of research, inconsistencies in the information, findings and gaps in previous research, and areas that should be covered in the upcoming research.

The structure of the literature review is similar to that of a typical essay. Therefore, it starts with an introduction along with a thesis statement followed by the main body and is finally concluded. Writing a literature review shouldn’t be hard if you follow the simple steps mentioned below:

 

  1. Identify and research your topic:

Firstly, you will need to decide the topic for your literature review. The topic that you pick should be narrow and specific. If you have trouble picking one, you can also ask your instructor for guidelines or get help online. After you have finished selecting a topic that suits your requirements, you now have to perform research in order to find information relevant to the topic that you have chosen. You can find information that you need from both online and the library like reports, journal articles, and other scholarly and academic sources available. When you are collecting information from different sources, it is best that you note down the information of the sources so that it will be easier for you to create the reference list.

 

  1. Examine the information gathered:

Once you have finished gathering all the required information from different sources, it’s time to analyze the information. You should consider highlighting and noting down the information that you find helpful and that you can write about in your literature review.

 

  1. Thesis statement:

The introduction is the first part of your literature review along with your thesis statement. You should start by giving a brief introduction on the topic. Once you’re done with that, write the thesis statement. The thesis statement should tell your reader about the specific areas of the topic that you will be covering.

 

  1. Main body:

The main body as the name suggests is where you will be presenting and discussing the main points of your topic. Each paragraph should cover a different subject that is relevant to your topic. Each subject that you will be presenting should have one or two ideas to support it.

 

  1. Conclusion:

The conclusion is where you will end the literature review. The conclusions like always should briefly summarize what you have discussed in the main body in about 5 to 6 lines.

 

  1. Referencing:

The next step is to reference all the sources that you have used in your review. There are different styles of referencing but you should only select the one which is according to the requirements and guidelines.

 

 

  1. Proofreading:

The last step is to thoroughly read your review a couple of times to make sure that there are no mistakes like grammatical and spelling errors. You should also check to see if the review focuses on the specific areas of the topic that you have selected and whether it will be able to provide a clear understanding to the reader.

 

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