A literary review is an important part of the research work in all scientific areas. Regardless of the career you aim to pursue, you are to elaborate a literature review to acquaint the audience with the context of your research and/ or theoretical basis. If you do not know how to do a literature review, keep reading the post – we will unveil the secrets here.
You can follow following approach when coping with a literature work.
- Comparing concepts – compare/ contrast viewpoints of several authors on the problem which the study discusses;
- Performing detailed analysis – study fundamentals of your research work with a listing of several less important publications on the topic;
- Deciding on references – pick the most up-to-date publications on the topic to reveal the theme of your research;
- Working on a paper – note main points and key ideas you want to prove in your writing, elaborate an outline, and follow university formatting requirements.
Types of Literature Review
There are different types of literature reviews. Depending on the explored topic and your specialization, you can conduct various types of literature review. Some effectively work in a particular field of science - Chemistry, Math, Physics, while others are recommended to be used in humane studies.
Review of a Newly Released Piece
Books that have just been published and released to the market are of interest to many readers. This is the aspect that literature review addresses. This kind of literature reviews is mostly universal in content and is informational in purpose.
It covers books, journals, and other materials relevant to branches of knowledge; reviews of newly released pieces are conducted promptly and systematically.
Literature for a review is selected in such a way that it is interesting to the wide audience. The work includes a large number of pieces related to the main argument, with the attention being drawn to the novelty of the information contained in books and journals.
As a general rule, an introduction and conclusion in a literature review of this kind are brief. Body sections are grouped according to the branches of knowledge they discuss. First of all, they characterize novelty of contents, scientific and technical value to the reader.
The unique feature of thematic literature reviews is that they disclose content of works devoted to a single question and show uniqueness of the manner and creative style of each writer. They discuss the difference between the books. Materials used in work are thoroughly selected. When working on a thematic literature review, it is recommended to concretize the topic, compose a catchy title using poetic lines or names of works themselves for this purpose.
Such reviews are conducted in connection with memorable dates, which can be birthdays of writers, artists, scientists, etc. There are no general requirements for writing a personal review. Some pieces focus on the characterization of works of any writer or publicist. The personal review should include information about main works already known to readers, new ones that have just been released. On the other hand, some works primarily discuss the literature about the life and work of a person or individual periods of his work and his particular works.
Scientific Literature Reviews
A special type of literature reviews is a scientific review. It analyses a specific topic or work provide insights into the explored theme.
The preparation for this academic assignment takes a lot of time and efforts requiring deep analyzing of a theme as well as works of other scientists.
How to Do a Literature Review – Making Things Easier
Preparation for any scientific research work should begin with the study of scientific literature. Wonder why you need to do that? It is, first of all, necessary to be updated with available information on the issue of your study and know if someone already conducted research in your chosen direction.
Having collected all relevant and up-to-date information, you will be able to form an opinion on the state of research problems at the moment. You can identify what has already been written by previous researchers and know what issues are developed and which ones are not. These are not the only benefits. On top of that, reading literature helps one to choose a topic, check works of its predecessors, so as not to repeat the same mistakes. At the same stage, it is important to study the methods that researchers applied and choose most suitable ones to your tasks and goals.
The pilot study reading literature is to guide you to be aware of the latest works conducted by other authors on a similar topic; introduce, if necessary, appropriate adjustments to their results; find confirmation or refutation of your factual material and the conclusions drawn from it. The literature data may not correspond to information obtained in your experiment. In this case, you can find an explanation for the gaps.
Obviously, you need to read a lot and study the topic attentively. That is why the chosen subject should be interesting to you. You risk getting bored without accomplishing the piece successfully. It is a good way to develop your point of view based on your findings.
How to Organize Your Work with Literature?
Working with the literature on the topic, you must learn different types of reading, suggesting a different degree of delving into the material. It is important to “extract” everything that can be useful to you in your scientific work: interesting thoughts, facts, figures, different points of view, etc. This can be done either in the form of notes or outline. No need to remember everything. Here you can use a variety of methods of working with literature – choose the one that is best corresponds to your purposes and understanding:
- make notes;
- write summary;
- fix already read material;
- write out only citations.
Where to Find Information for a Literature Review?
It is not necessary anymore to go to a library to find material to use in your literature work. In the digital era, everything you need can be found online. You can use the following sources to getting evidence and inspiration for literature review writing:
- Google search – Google scholar and Google books are some of the best sources to obtain the most up-to-date information on any area of science. They cover not only scientific articles, books, and grey reports from unknown authors.
- Online books – it is a good tool for obtaining fresh info in the humanities and social science. You can even find textbooks about STEM disciplines online. Google now has around 10 million books.
- Proprietary databases – depending on your field of study, proprietary database can be a real source of information. World of Science, PubMed, and Scopus – these are some of options you can use.
Organize your work in smart way. Avoid reading tons of articles and books as many students do. It is enough to select the relevant digital source and follow all the steps outlined above. If you find it difficult to write out a paper and need professional help with crafting a masterpiece, then will help you with elaborating a literature review for you.