Writing a literature review
As I come to the end of my undergraduate studies, one of the things I initially used to struggle with at the beginning of it was writing a literature review. I developed an outline for writing a literature review which hopefully can be possibly useful to others. Depending on the context of your literature review, not all aspects listed below need to be utilised in this respect.
- Explains why topic is important
- Studies are listed in alphabetical order.
- Gives reader an idea of what the paper will cover.
- Focuses only on reviewing literature that support hypothesis. (Also if it disagrees with it?)
- Descriptions of the prior studies should always be in the past tense because the study has already occurred.
- Notice that not a lot of detail is given about how the study was conducted. Instead, the description focuses on the rationale behind the study. (Recognise the theory behind what I am writing)
- Notice that the author focuses on the main findings that related to the hypothesis stated earlier.
- Author points out relevant methodological issues that may have affected findings.
- Decided methodology, needs to stay as that, on topic. Needs to sequential.
- Find connections between papers and describe them appropriately.
- Discuss findings and how they relate to hypothesis.
- Point out limitations that affect the study's validity. Don't go out my way to explain why it won't work unless its relevant.
- Do findings contradict hypothesis.
- Conclusion sums up the main findings on the literature review and gives suggestions as to what future research should focus on.