unexplored or under-researched areas) and articulates how a particular research project addresses this gap.
Literature refers to a collection of published information/materials on a particular area of research or topic, such as books and journal articles of academic value.
It illuminates how knowledge has evolved within the field, highlighting what has already been done, what is generally accepted, what is emerging and what is the current state of thinking on the topic.
In addition, within research-based texts such as a Doctoral thesis, a literature review identifies a research gap (i.e.
It could be from five sources at first year undergraduate level to more than fifty for a thesis. Keep a note of the publication title, date, authors’ names, page numbers and publishers. Each body paragraph should deal with a different theme that is relevant to your topic.
You will need to synthesise several of your reviewed readings into each paragraph, so that there is a clear connection between the various sources.The literature review is generally in the format of a standard essay made up of three components: an introduction, a body and a conclusion.It is not a list like an annotated bibliography in which a summary of each source is listed one by one.Instead, organize the literature review into sections that present themes or identify trends, including relevant theory.You are not trying to list all the material published, but to synthesize and evaluate it according to the guiding concept of your thesis or research question If you are writing an annotated bibliography, you may need to summarize each item briefly, but should still follow through themes and concepts and do some critical assessment of material.This is a cyclical process.” (O’Leary 2010, p.83)It is usually one of the first tasks that graduate research students undertake, and one of the last to be completed.A literature review written in the early stages of research is likely to change because you need to review and revise it from time to time and ensure it is up to date.What are you being asked to do in your literature review? Check your assignment question and your criteria sheet to know what to focus on. Select appropriate source material: Use a variety of academic or scholarly sources that are relevant, current and authoritative.An extensive review of relevant material will include — books, journal articles, reports, government documents, conference proceedings and web resources.A literature review is an account of what has been published on a topic by accredited scholars and researchers.Occasionally you will be asked to write one as a separate assignment (sometimes in the form of an annotated bibliography—see the bottom of the next page), but more often it is part of the introduction to an essay, research report, or thesis.