Literatue review

A literature review is an overview of the research that has been done in a field, with particular emphasis on what has been published in scholarly journals and books within the last five years

Posted: September 26th, 2022

 A literature review is an overview of the research that has been done in a field, with particular emphasis on what has been published in scholarly journals and books within the last five years. It can be used as one part of the coursework for an undergraduate or graduate degree program (depending on your level), or it can be submitted as part of a grant proposal. 

There are many different ways you could go about writing your literature review, but here are some suggestions: First, identify keywords that will help you find articles related to the topic at hand. One way to do this is by using Google Scholar’s search engine functionality (available through their website). In order to use this effectively, you’ll have to think like a librarian. Become familiar with the vocabulary related to your topic – words that describe specific types of research (cross-sectional, longitudinal), words used in searching for articles (e.g., keywords) and filtering by time frame or publication type. This will also give you an idea of the topics that already exist within the literature review on this subject. Next, create an annotated bibliography that includes every article you find relevant to your topic as well as books referred to in each article cited. The most common way to create an annotated bibliography is through a referencing system called APA style, which makes use of superscript numbers at the bottom left-hand corner of each page. Underline the title of each article or book in your bibliography. In the left-hand margin, write a short description about why you selected this item (JOURNAL NAME Volume Number, page numbers) and include any other information that might be helpful to others reading your review – for example, if an article has been published more than once with slightly different titles or if it is not available electronically, include this information as well. Research articles should then be divided into subheadings based on their content (i.e., Research Design; Sample Size and Sampling Method; Research Methods Used).

Research articles are secondary sources – they have already been written by someone else who did the research. Use these only as one source for ideas regarding how to design your own study and to give you examples of what has already been done. Research articles can sometimes be difficult to read. It is important that you do not just rely on these as sources of information, but that you also consult primary sources (i.e., books or journal articles written by the original researcher) and review chapters within textbooks to get a broader idea of how different researchers have approached similar issues in their research. The literature review should be around 3,000- 6,000 words long – less than this if it’s just for coursework purposes; longer if it is part of a large grant proposal or dissertation Research on the topic does not have to be new – in fact, if there are older studies that provide good information about the topic, include those as well. Research is important because it provides a means for developing and testing new ideas; however, literature reviews can also be used to discuss older studies that are no longer current – this is very helpful for students who need an entry point into the history of a subject Research in your field may appear in journals or books. Research articles are rarely listed by author names (because they have been published without names). Research that appears in print and electronic versions of journals should always include both authors’ names. Research that only appears in a book should include the name(s) of the first author(s), followed by “et al.”

Factors to consider when writing a literature review:

1. Research methodology It involves asking a question and then posing that question to the sample population (generally through surveys or interviews). Research can be “quantitative” (e.g., large statistical analyses of large data sets) or “qualitative” (i.e., in-depth interviews, focus groups); however, much research is also mixed-methods – i.e., uses both quantitative and qualitative approaches simultaneously:

The author’s study consisted of two parts:  A quantitative survey form was used for all participants; open-ended questions about their experiences were asked with an interview schedule [APA citation] The literature review should indicate how your own study will fit into this framework of research.

2. Author’s contributions This should provide a summary of the primary conclusions drawn by the researcher from their study. The purpose of this step is to determine where your own research fits into the larger context described by other researchers in the field (i.e., what part of the puzzle are you trying to fill) and how it differs from previous studies:

The participants reported that they gave up or restricted serious leisure activities rather than confront negativity they perceived was directed at them as obese individuals [APA citation]What will make your study distinct is important.

 3. Author’s limitations As well as describing what other people have already found, you can also explain why their findings might not apply to your own study (this is called using “counter-example”) – sometimes the authors have said something about a topic that is incorrect and your study can correct them. It is important to be as respectful of other researchers as possible because you will need to build on their work in order to make your own research meaningful:

Results were not generalizable for all obese populations but may suggest directions for future research [APA citation]The author’s limitations are particularly important when discussing previous studies (i.e., those that are older or done by different researchers). For example, if there are many studies done on a topic, it would be very difficult to include every one of those specific findings in your review – so instead you should indicate what primary conclusions can be drawn from this body of literature regarding how obesity affects leisure

4. Current State of the Research You should also briefly note what is currently known about your topic. This step is particularly important if you are summarizing older studies because it provides more context for readers and will help them understand how these earlier findings differ from or support your own:

The majority of research on obesity presents data about who is obese, when they became obese, and their levels of physical activity (PA), but does not explore why individuals do or do not engage in PA [APA citation]

5. Synthesis and Integration Once you’ve described what is already known about a topic under review, you can then integrate this information into your own study – that means showing how it relates to your findings.

The key points of writing a literature review are to critically examine the evidence and arguments that support or refute your hypothesis. Once you’ve made an argument, it’s important to back up what you say with data from credible sources. It is also essential for writers to be able to cite their sources accurately so they can be easily found by other readers. Finally, when presenting research findings in order of significance, it’s common practice to present the most significant finding first followed by any supporting findings thereafter. If this sounds like something you might need help with please don’t hesitate to contact us! Our team would love nothing more than to help you publish quality work on time while balancing your busy schedule. Let us know how we can guide you through composing a literature review on your next assignment.

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