According to Elliot, "The purpose of literature is to turn blood into ink" while the purpose of a literature review is to demonstrate your perception and evaluation of the subject. This academic writing is in great demand in various fields. Throughout the course, students read loads of books, essays, scientific reports and tons of unique works of the native literature and global literary heritage. To become aware of the level of their academic performance teachers often assign them a task to write a review on a published work.
Definition and Main Purposes of Such a Review
To easily cope with the task to write this academic paper, you need to get familiar with its definition. A literature review can be termed as a critical analysis of a book (or other literary work) focused on a specific topic. It usually contains a recap of the main events of the source and an explanation of them. That said, you give a new interpretation of the existing facts or smartly combine the old part with the new one. A review can be written as a separate essay or have a look of a rationale for a dissertation or other research paper.
A literature review is aimed to provide a critical overview of the specific aspect of the research. It allows students:
- to find areas of prior studies;
- to study how each source has contributed to the researching of the existing issue;
- to show how all the sources are related to one another;
- to plug the leaks in the previous research;
- to detect new ways of interpretation of the subject;
- to disclose more effective directions for further investigation.
When you review a literature, you have an opportunity to see new aspects of a selected topic that have not been noticed before. Composing a thorough review is a great way to demonstrate the grade of your competence in the specific field. In addition, it's possible to find out innovative facts about it and come to new, extraordinary conclusions.
Complete Guidelines to Writing a Review
Once you've decided to conduct such a work, you need to get familiar with the main requirements for this writing process. Whatever manuscript you are going to create, it must be well-structured, comprehensive and grammatically correct.
Consider your text flows logically from one section to another. Like any other academic essay, a review of the literature consists of the common main parts such as catchy intro, accurate body, and smart conclusion.
1. The introduction describes an overall picture of the problem and proves its importance to discuss or depict. It explains what the research process on the topic has been done. Students may include thesis from different recent studies within the field. Depending on the kind of the published work, it may contain a brief history of the issue or its background. A stand-alone review will have an evaluation of the published art in the field of research while a preparatory review of the research report will show arguments how these findings lead to such research.
2. The body has to be separated by headings (subheadings) to gain a better perception of the text. This section looks like a summary and evaluation of the current information about your field of study. You should discuss only your aspect of the topic which has led directly to your problem.
3. The bottom-up points out the importance of your topic's investigation. Try to focus on the previous gaps in the research and point out your solution to the issue or how these gaps have led to your own project. Indicate the type of methodology used in your paper.
Main Steps of Review Writing
1. Choose a working, up-to-date, well-covered topic. If you have a chance to select a topic by yourself, set your heart on a field of your interests. Composing an academic paper can be boring and time-consuming. That is why dwell on the topic that is really engaging for you to research.
2. Define an audience. You should know for whom you will be writing in order to engage your reader. The easier you write, the more successful your work will be. Use the commonly accepted language.
3. Review the literature. Once you've searched multiple sources and relevant databases, read, analyze and evaluate all of them. Pay attention if the author's suggestion is enough supported by empirical evidence. Include controversial facts to your point of view. Remember that “cognition comes through comparison.” Keep the focus on analysis but not a description. Take notes while reading the literature. It will help you organize your article, define the core terms, and select attention-grabbing quotes. Take into account that the main topic should flow throughout the text. Your goal is to write a clear and comprehensive manuscript.
4. Double check your work. Don't deliver your paper until you proofread it. In addition to the laconic and easy-to-read structure, base your review on reliable and valuable sources. Compose a reference list.
Tips on How to Prepare a Killer Review
Alongside with the main rules for writing a correct literature review, there are some smart and consistent recommendations:
1. Write your paper with a focus on the target audience.
2. Base on your topic throughout the entire text. Don't engage your reader in empty talk.
3. Make sure that you have inserted all citations and references in order to avoid plagiarism.
4. Use an appropriate style for your academic writing.
5. Avoid the language of everyday speech and other grammar and spelling mistakes that make you look unprofessional.
6. When searching the literature for your work, be thorough and use different sources.
7. Taking notes while gathering information will make your work more time-efficient.
8. If you use quotes, it's recommended to reformulate them with your own words.
9. There are a number of referencing software that can help to save your time.
10. If it's possible, include your own objective, relevant research.
Good luck with writing a literature review. However, if you're not ready to cope with such a task, ask for professional help.