Monday, 11 July 2016

Structuring a Literature Review

To go over what a literature review should cover in detail would take an entire book. However, we can very quickly outline what should be included without getting too much into the detail.

The literature review consists largely of three parts: the introduction, the body and the conclusion. Each of these should contain specific features of their own.
  1. Introduction. Our introduction should be fairly brief - only one or two paragraphs - and include:
    - Briefly exploring the wider context of our topic;
    - Quickly explain why our topic is important;
    - Outlining the aims and intentions of our literature review;
    - Scoping our research; and
    - Reviewing the key themes that we will cover (in order).

  2. Body. The body is the main content of your literature review, and should relate closely to your concept map. It should:
    - Go through our key themes in order (eg, by importance or chronologically).
    - Explore relevant material, theme by theme;
    - Clearly show why certain studies are important
    - Draw conclusions from our literature as we go
    - Explore the ideas of experts AND our underpinning research theories
    - Contain all the materials needed for our research project

    - Explain how individual studies relate to and advance theory

  3.  Conclusion.Our conclusion should also be brief - a paragraph or two - and include:
    - A quick summary of our major findings (eg, trends, inconsistencies, etc)
    - How the research adds to our current knowledge
    - Areas that existing research has not yet addressed.
Hope that helps!




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