Q: How to conduct a review of literature?
A literature review is a detailed analysis of literature related to a topic. It is written to evaluate the progress of knowledge in an area and to identify the gaps that have remained unaddressed. A literature review in a research paper forms part of the Introduction section and introduces the readers to the need for conducting the research.
The purpose of a literature review is to critically analyze previous literature on a specific topic to provide a strong foundation for the research that is being conducted. There are two aspects to a literature review:
1. Selecting relevant literature
2. Writing the literature review
To begin with, you need to select the most appropriate and relevant literature from the existing body of work. This can be done by searching for articles on a reliable database using key search terms and refining the search till you get the most relevant literature.
These resources will help you understand how you can conduct an effective literature search:
- Tips for effective literature searching and keeping up with new publications
- How to conduct an effective literature search and keep up with new publications
Once you have decided which papers to include in your literature review, read through them quickly. you might not have the time to read the entire article in detail, but make sure you read the Abstract, Results and Discussion and skim through the rest at least. Make notes as you read.
Once your notes are ready, it's time to write your literature review. Here are some resources that will help you:
For more detailed guidance, you can also consider taking the following course: