Literature review: how the writing impacts consciousness
Literature review is a brief summary and at the same time detailed explanation that completes the readers` knowledge on a limited topic (article, report or book). There are basically two types of review you may be assigned in college: a stand-alone task in a course and the one in form of a research report. The focus of a literature review is determined by the type you choose, so the only way to succeed in it is to have a good plan on how to write a decent paper.
Purpose and contents
The main goal of a literature review is to give a critically written opinion of the current state of the topic you research. The value of your writing is that you:
- Identify the area of research;
- Understand each resource you have and the specific issue you need to review;
- Describe the connections of all your sources;
- Find new ways to interpret and fill in any gaps;
- Provide recommendations for further investigations.
You should understand that each literature review consists of a few main components: source categorization, objectives, subject overview and arguments discussion.
Like any other academic paper, a literature review consists of the following key elements:
- Introduction – it explains the focus of your work and underlines the importance of the topic. Here you state what type of work has been already done and identify recent researches that have raised these questions.
- Main body – divided by sub-paragraphs, the main body evaluates the current state of investigations on the given subject and notes the findings that you may agree or disagree in your work.
- Conclusion – gives a brief summary of evidences presented and shows the significance of the work done. You may give recommendations and practical applications of your research for future investigators.
7 steps to successful writing
- Find a good topic that is being discussed and the opinions are not certain. Think what you are interested in most of all, consult your teacher and brainstorm the web;
- Review the sources. Relevant literature to study is the most important elements, so make sure you have enough: use key words, make up references list and include the studies that are contrary to your opinion;
- Read the articles properly and give them evaluation. Pay attention to methodologies they use, note experts in this field and point out conflicting theories;
- Create a thesis – write a couple of sentences to summarize everything you read (trends, developments and researches on the subject);
- Structure your paper: divide it into sub paragraphs, make plan of what you will write in each of them according to sub-themes;
- Write the main body – follow the plan you created and come up with the main body content based on the information you read;
- Focus on analysis of what you have written: is your position clear? What are the findings you get? Analyze and proofread the paper.
Do not try to fake it: use only those materials you did read and do not try to copy paste someone’s opinion.