Literature review is an integral part of research. Unless you’re serious about the quality of your research, it’s always there. But what exactly is a literature review? Simply put, it is a review of existing scholarships for specific areas of interest. Often seen as a major step towards formulating a hypothesis/question and research question, it requires reading and analyzing the existing literature on the topic to identify areas covered and uncovered. I have. But is Literature Review as simple as I say?
Conducting an effective literature review requires consideration of various factors that contribute to the success of the review. The whole process takes time to master, but once mastered, you can develop a proper action plan for your research. Let’s take a quick overview of how to conduct a good literature review.
Understand the topic or have a general area of interest
To begin a literature review, you should have a hypothetical topic or general area of interest in mind. Unless you have one, you won’t get off to a clean start and are more likely to scroll up and down random articles. Helps you find areas. However, it should be understood that no study can be constructed by guesswork. If you have a topic on your mind, read as much as possible. By the end of it, you will certainly have developed a fair idea of whether or not to pursue a topic or area of interest.
Literature review is extensive
If you thought a quick overview of the first few articles on the web or library was enough, you’re totally lost. You should read and review a wide variety of literature and have enough material to support your inferences about whether or not to proceed with the topic. For example, if you are reading about the viability of Austen’s legal theory, you should cover the literature that not only approves of that theory, but also disapproves of it.
identify problems or gaps
Why do we do research? The answer is very simple, so you don’t have to do all the technical stuff. We do research because we want to supplement existing scholarship with something new and important. How will I know that I need to supplement my existing scholarships? Review your existing scholarships and identify any gaps. Yes, exactly what I am writing is that you need to identify a problem or gap. For example, let’s say you want to write about regulation of corporate funding in elections. Read the existing literature on steps taken to achieve the same and whether those steps yielded productive results. If there are gaps or issues, we can work on them.
Organize your literature
One thing many researchers overlook is the need to organize the literature. Eventually, you will read all kinds of literature available. You have hundreds of articles and books to keep track of and you never know what they contain unless you invest time in organizing them. You can grab your prints and place them in folders in the traditional way. But I certainly understand that this method is outdated. Instead, you should take advantage of very good software that acts as a great platform for storing, reviewing, and citing sources. These include Zotero and Mendeley. believe me. Switching to any of these software will make your life a thousand times easier.
use analytical skills
When you sit down to write a review for your master’s or doctoral dissertation in general, you should be prepared to analyze the literature. The word “review” simply means not reading the literature. You read it, you understand it, you analyze it. It would be helpful to state your thoughts on what a particular article is talking about, whether it covers the main issues, and what you got out of it. A review should not look like a summary of all the data you collect.
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