How to start off writing a literature review

By publication: Order your sources by publication chronology, then, only if the order demonstrates a more important trend.

Sample literature review for research paper

Main body The middle or main body should: organise the literature according to common themes; provide insight into the relation between your chosen topic and the wider subject area e. The narrower your topic, the easier it will be to limit the number of sources you need to read in order to get a good survey of the material. Gaps you notice in the literature 5. What was I even writing about, and how did it differ from all the other literature reviews? Definitions of terms 3. Figure out a mini-conceptual schema based on that theme by grouping together those excerpts that say the same thing. One of my first professors once told me that I should read two hundred articles for my first review. What are the sub-areas of the topic you need to explore? The tough part is transitioning from reading and researching for your literature review to actually writing it. Calls for follow-up studies relevant to your project 4.

A methodological scope will influence either the types of documents in the review or the way in which these documents are discussed. Then your review would have subsections according to eras within this period.

Literature review introduction example

You can use a spidergram or list to help you identify the areas you want to investigate further. Calls for follow-up studies relevant to your project 4. What are the major relationships, trends and patterns? It should not take more than two or three dedicated sessions. Literature reviews are written occasionally in the humanities, but mostly in the sciences and social sciences; in experiment and lab reports, they constitute a section of the paper. So you check those out. Step Four: Code the literature: Get out a pair of scissors and cut each excerpt out. For each source you are reviewing ask yourself these questions: What are the key terms and concepts? Are there ideas that contradict each other?

Where might the discussion proceed? A literature review is not a straightforward summary of everything you have read on the topic and it is not a chronological description of what was discovered in your field.

Check your assignment question and your criteria sheet to know what to focus on.

conclusion for literature review chapter

Information even two years old could be obsolete. Consider using a table, matrix or concept map to identify how the different sources relate to each other. First, I felt like I was drowning in information. You will need to synthesise several of your reviewed readings into each paragraph, so that there is a clear connection between the various sources.

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Writing a Literature Review: Six Steps to Get You from Start to Finish