Facing issues with this task is not something odd as in the process of writing…
How to approach such an assignment? Many students get frustrated or confused by it and start googling “write a literature review for me“. However, if you have a clear idea of this assignment’s goals, you should avoid this frustration and cope with the task efficiently.
What is a lit review itself? It is a close study of primary texts, scholarly articles, or any other sources relevant to a particular area of research. The student’s task is to describe, summarize, and critically evaluate the works concerning the research problem being investigated. Literature reviews have two main purposes. They are meant to give an overview of sources explored while doing your research and to show your reader how that research fits within the broader field of study. A student may often come across a literature review when preparing his dissertation.
This is not a simple task. That is why many students prefer to turn for help to a specialized literature review writing service, but after reading this article, you should get an idea of what the purpose of a literature review is and will be able to cope with this task on your own!
Literature Review Purpose
In academic writing, new ideas you present have to be based on an assessment of some significant previously published information on the topic. You must assess both: recent and contemporary to the writer. To start with, your paper has to provide your readers with a summary of prior ideas, areas, and information on that topic. This is done to give them an insight into your work.
After that, your task is to critically evaluate the research relating to that topic and develop your perspective on the research in that field to affirm your credibility as a scholar.
You can use these steps to approach a literary review:
- Explore how each previously published work has contributed to an overall understanding of the research problem under study
- Identify new interpretations of prior studies
- Describe how those works relate to each other
- Attempt to resolve any conflicts among differing approaches of previous researchers
- Explore any possible gaps that require further research.
In your paper, you need to explore the opinions of experts on the topic. However, you must expand on and disagree with some of them.
As is the case with any academic writing task, this one has to have a good structure, and your ideas must have a logical flow from one point to the next one. What else do you have to do? Above all, you must prove your credibility to the reader:
- Only reference material that you have decided is essential, current and relevant to your argument
- What are your audience’s expectations? You need to establish your authority to speak on the topic by paying close attention to that. What is the rhetorical purpose and genre of the document? What are the academic standards of your discipline?
- Cite materials as per your discipline’s requirements – always ask yourself: what is the contribution of each citation to your argument, what does it help you achieve.
- Present viewpoints and terminology impartially and comprehensively. Do not rely too heavily on outside material – use it to develop your ideas because a simple list of external sources is not a correctly formed literature review.
Now, when you understand how to write a literature review and what the purpose of a lit review is, there is one more useful tip to keep in mind – whenever you are writing, you always need to consider your audience and the format they expect. Is your audience an experienced reader? Are they experts on your topic, or new to the material? Perhaps you may need to explain the basic theories and definitions so that the audience can assess the merits of the problem you are investigating?
How to approach it? Think of it as if you need to take your readers by the hand and guide them at first, so they can understand the rest of the paper without your help. At the end of the review, the reader should feel like he has learned something new about the topic. That means that your argument has shown a new perspective.
It is important that your ideas are in the center of writing. You only use referenced work to support your thinking and prove it is relevant and essential to the subject.