C. The literature review
A good literature review synthesizes the research and presents an overview of the current level of understanding in a particular field to form the context for your research project. Once you have done an initial search of the literature to narrow down your ideas, it is time to conduct a more thorough review of the literature. Understanding the literature requires you to read, re-read, and think about complex ideas to help formulate a comprehensive review.
Literature reviews generally start with more general ideas and then become more specific. They usually start with an overview of the field and then funnel down into your specific research question. When discussing past research, the emphasis is on integration and interpretation of primary research articles by identifying key themes, trends, issues or comparisons. It is not simply a summary of each individual article. Below are some key components of the literature review.
A thorough literature search is essential in ensuring a comprehensive review. There should be sufficient research evidence on the subject in terms of both the quantity and diversity of sources.
Research should be synthesized and wide-ranging. Ideas should be presented in terms of themes rather than just a summary of individual studies.
There should be a degree of critical thinking including evaluations and questions of the literature.
The review should lead logically into your specific research question.
Click the button below to view a general literature review structure. Please note that the required structure may vary depending on your enrolled course.