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If you are not sure where to start, take the quiz to assess your research skills.A literature review is a critical analysis of published sources, or literature, on a particular topic.
In addition, within research-based texts such as a Doctoral thesis, a literature review identifies a research gap (i.e.
unexplored or under-researched areas) and articulates how a particular research project addresses this gap.
An extensive review of relevant material will include — books, journal articles, reports, government documents, conference proceedings and web resources.
The Library would be the best place to search for your sources.
After selecting a topic to investigate, you will begin to locate and read sources.
Then you will analyse, evaluate and synthesise the texts before organising them into a logical structure that you will use to write your literature review.You will need to synthesise several of your reviewed readings into each paragraph, so that there is a clear connection between the various sources.You will need to critically analyse each source for how they contribute to the themes you are researching.This is a cyclical, iterative process in that you will return to find and read more sources and incorporate them into your synthesis.While many of the general considerations outlined in this module are pertinent to all research, there are some particular things to consider when writing a literature review within your discipline.The number of sources that you will be required to review will depend on what the literature review is for and how advanced you are in your studies.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.A literature review surveys scholarly articles, books, dissertations, conference proceedings and other resources which are relevant to a particular issue, area of research, or theory and provides context for a dissertation by identifying past research.Research tells a story and the existing literature helps us identify where we are in the story currently.In essence, a literature review identifies, evaluates and synthesises the relevant literature within a particular field of research.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.