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7 Simple Rules for Writing an Outstanding Literature Review

by Tim

A literature review is a fundamental part of your thesis writing. It includes relevant literature by other scholars and situates your research in the same conversation.  

Generally, a literature review assists you in discussing how new theories or knowledge can align with the existing scholarship. It is not just a summary of sources; you need to synthesize, analyze, and evaluate them to provide a clear picture of the subject.  

Thus, a literature review is presented in different ways: a whole research paper, a section of an article, or a chapter in your dissertation.  

In this article, we will state simple rules that will help you craft the best literature review in the assignment module.  

7 Essentials Rules to Write a Literature Review  

A lot of you may need help to write your own literature review.  

To help students understand the process of writing an outstanding literature review, here are some great rules that you need to follow. 

1. Conduct Extensive Research  

To create an outstanding literature review, you must conduct in-depth research.  So, when you start your search, you must examine different studies on the chosen topic. 

Thus, your goal should be to create a list of research so that it is easily accessible when you refer to them.  

Once you have shortlisted the resources, you can go through them and filter out the ones that you will use in your literature review. 

Therefore, read every material to gain insight into what the author has to share and contribute in the same area of study. 

Moreover, once you are confident about the knowledge gathered, you will be able to explain it better in your literature review section.  

2. Keep It Concise  

It is commonly observed that students often get diverted from the topic when they continue writing a lengthy literature review.  

To ensure consistency in your writing, stick to the topic and include information as per the point.  

It will eventually help you build the best literature review that is based on the selected topic and helps readers understand the background of your research statement.  

On the other hand, ensure to maintain the right balance between being descriptive and being concise. This section allows you to be illustrative and include every detail from a particular study. Thus, everything should be related to the thesis statement.  

3. Be Critical  

The nature of a literature review is descriptive and concise.  

To ensure a smooth flow of information, you need to analyze the literature critically.  

Therefore, use concepts and keywords identified in your initial research and explore the combinations with eminent authors. Similarly, you can identify gaps for improving the literature review and make certain claims.  

Hence, read and summarize every source to analyze and formulate your methodology.  

On the other hand, you can even challenge assumptions and explanations made by authors when you have strong evidence from your research. This will help in building a contradicting statement and further engage the readers.  

4. Maintain a Logical Structure  

There are different approaches to organizing the body of the literature review. Depending on the words, you can combine various strategies. Some of the important ones are listed down below: 

Chronological: One of the easiest approaches is to trace your topic’s development. If you choose this strategy, be cautious to avoid simply listing and summarizing sources in order. Furthermore, you can analyze patterns, emphasize debates, and alter points that have shaped the direction of a study.  

Methodological: If different areas of study drive your research, compare the conclusions and results emerging from other approaches. For instance, you can divide the literature into sociological, cultural, and historical sources.  

Thematic: if you are working on certain recurring themes, you can organize the literature into subsections. This will indicate a different aspect for each topic. For instance, if you are researching “inequalities in migrant health outcomes,” then the key themes must be language barriers, legal status, economic condition, healthcare policy, and cultural attitude.  

Theoretical: Your paper is the foundation of a theoretical concept. Hence, you can use it to discuss different definitions, key concepts, and theories. Therefore, you can argue for the relevance of specific theoretical approaches and combine the ideas of original theory to demarcate a framework for your research.  

5. Include Relevant Models  

Adding a theoretical aspect forms a connection between researchers and the existing knowledge.  

It is necessary that you include relevant theories and frameworks in your literature review. This forms a tangible reference for your research.  

Thus, in developing your literature review, it will be helpful to identify an underpinning framework on which you can start creating the argument and show the gaps in the research being examined. 

Moreover, when you take guidance from a particular theory, you offer a basis for your research and hypothesis methods.  

Thus, articulating the theoretical assumption, your research study can focus on addressing questions of how and why.  

6. Reference Accurately  

Referencing allows you to recognize the contribution of other authors and writers in your work.  

While you draw ideas, theories, and concepts from other authors, ensure you make the correct citations and references. This way, you offer credit to the writers from whom you borrow ideas and concepts.  

Similarly, citing the source consistently will help you avoid plagiarism in your research. If you need help understanding the reference style, visit the website to get more info from the experts.  

However, it ultimately builds trust between the reviewer and author of the paper, which might influence a peer-reviewed report.  

7. Review and Edit 

Proofreading your literature review will assist in having a clearer understanding of your written piece. Similarly, it will allow you to make an amendment wherever it is needed.  

Thus, it is an important step for fixing your grammatical errors, punctuation, and formatting sentences.  

Hence, making adjustments and changes will improve the work and allow us to understand what sort of wording is relevant in a particular study.  

Therefore, follow the tips to create an excellent piece of work.  

Search Relevant Sources  

In order to conduct comprehensive research, you need to discover what has already been published. Thus, you need to ensure you go through appropriate reference sources like journal articles, reports, books, web-based sources, and government documents.  

Similarly, set aside adequate time and resources to write a good literature review.  

We hope the guide will help you answer several questions and you can get started writing a literature review.

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