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Core components of literature review - 2022 Guide

A literature review is a form of academic writing that focuses on overviewing literary and scholarly works that have already been reported in the texts on a specific topic of interest. The review can include entries like a book, a peer-reviewed paper, a section of a scholarly article, or an article. A literature review is all about searching the works relevant to a topic and then evaluating and reporting the most authentic, credible, and relevant works in the form of an academic piece of writing.

Before getting into the details of the structure and components of a literature review, it is important for the readers to know the importance and prime objectives of the literature review. This will help the readers and providers of essay writing services know why it is necessary to learn about a literature review.

Significance of a Literature Review

A literature review is one of the important parts of writing a research paper, dissertation, as it helps the essay writer gain knowledge about the existing arguments and researches relevant to the research topic of the writer.

A comprehensive review of literature not only helps the writer but reader of research too to build the background knowledge of any new work reported within any field. A literature review is the section of a research paper that not only develops the basics and gives background information of the writer but to the reader too hence it should be written and presented very carefully and vigilantly.

Objectives of a Literature Review

There are four main objectives of a literature review that should be kept in mind while writing it. These include surveying, synthesizing, analyzing, and presenting. The first and foremost task or objective of writing a literature review is to conduct a detailed survey of all the sources related to the topic and field of interest. The next objective is to synthesize the information collected from these sources in form of summaries and gather the related sources together. The next objective is to critically analyze each source, find contributions, limitations, and gaps of the sources and report them in review. The last and final objective is to present the shortlisted sources in an organized and structured manner which will be the final outlook of a literature review.

Components of a Literature Review

The overall organization of a literature review is just like any other form of academic writing. The main parts include an introductory paragraph, a few body paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph. However, the major difference lies in the content that is presented in each of these sections.

Before writing the literature review, the prewriting process needs to be completed. This process consists of four crucial steps that are elaborated on below. These steps also form the basic components of the literature review as will be discussed after explaining each of the steps.

Problem formulation

The first step of prewriting is to select a topic and a field and then formulate a problem within that field that is neither too general nor too narrow and has much scope of research to it along with applications and is capable of adding significant research to the existing literature

Literature search

The second step is to search for all the sources using the correct keywords from online search engines, libraries, and other sources. the material search shall be relevant to the problem formulated in the first step

Data evaluation

The third step is evaluating the sources that have been collected. In this step, any sources are generally excluded from the list before they can make it to the final list of sources enumerated in the literature review. This is done on the basis of authenticity, relevance, credibility, the contribution of sources, novelty, scope, applications, etc.

Analysis and interpretation

The last and final prewriting process’s step is to jot down the findings of each of the sources and all that each source adds to the body of knowledge. This listing helps in arranging the sources in the final draft of the literature review.

Once done with this process, then comes the turn of writing the draft for the literature review. This is just the structural and organizational presentation of the processes completed in the prewriting phase.

The introduction of the literature review sheds light on the problem, why is this problem important enough to be researched. This paragraph also gives the background of the issue under discussion and provides a brief overview of the literature review discussed in the body paragraphs. It is also important to mention what form of organizational pattern is used in the review in the introductory paragraph. The organization of sources may be in chronological, thematic, methodological order, based on trends found in publications, etc.

After writing the introduction, the next part is to write the body of the literature review. This is done by first arranging the shortlisted sources in the order in which they are to be presented (as discussed above). Then each source shall be discussed by providing brief information about the publication, a summary of the source, discussion of scope, limitations, and research gaps, and a critical evaluation of the contribution of the source. These components of the body paragraph must be there in the literature review; however, the length may vary depending upon the requirement of the review.

The conclusion must contain the discussion on what the writer has drawn from studying the literature and where the discussion will proceed in the writer's final paper. These are the components that I ensure I add to any literature review while I write my paper and are sure to make an ordinary literature review into an exemplary one.

Useful Resources:

Tips to Create Captivating Essay Conclusion

Simple Steps to Write an Impactful Research Paper

Key Types of Research Papers, Tips, and Ideas

Key Components of an Abstract

Pros and Cons of Qualitative Research

Ben Alex

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