literature review

1550 Words Apr 26th, 2014 7 Pages
Writing a Literature Review A literature review… • Provides an overview and a critical evaluation of a body of literature relating to a research topic or a research problem.
• Analyzes a body of literature in order to classify it by themes or categories, rather than simply discussing individual works one after another.
• Presents the research and ideas of the field rather than each individual work or author by itself. A literature review often forms part of a larger research project, such as within a thesis (or major research paper), or it may be an independent written work, such as a synthesis paper.

Purpose of a literature review A literature review situates your topic in relation to previous
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Do they allow the author to address your research question effectively? Is each argument or point based on relevant research?
If not, why?
- What theoretical approach does the author adopt? Does it allow the researcher to make convincing points and draw convincing conclusions? Are the author’s biases and presuppositions openly presented, or do you have to identify them indirectly? If so, why?
- Overall, how convincing is the argument? Are the conclusions relevant to the field of study? Questions for comparing works
- What are the main arguments? Do the authors make similar or different arguments? Are some arguments more convincing than others?
- How has research been conducted in the literature? How extensive has it been? What kinds of data 3 have been presented? How pertinent are they? Are there sufficient amounts of data? Do they adequately answer the questions?
- What are the different types of methodologies used? How well do they work? Is one methodology more effective than others? Why?
- What are the different theoretical frameworks or approaches used? What do they allow the authors to do? How well do they work? Is one approach more effective than others? Why?
- Overall, is one work more convincing than others? Why? Or are the works you have compared too different to evaluate against each other? The Academic Writing Help Centre offers more information on synthesis and evaluation in the discussion

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