Writing A Literature Review Part 1

By: Writing Tips Today

Writing a Literature Review. This page describes how to write a literature review for your term paper, thesis, or dissertation.

A literature review typically has four main functions:

To give background information on your area of research.
To demonstrate that you have conducted sufficient research in the area of your study.
To show the relationship between your study and previous research.
To develop and expand knowledge in your field.

The review of the literature may be placed in the introduction, especially in term papers.  However, in theses and dissertations it will be an entire chapter.

The literature review will primarily cite the work of other researchers.  You will need to give citations, which are references to other authors’ work.

Citations will be in different formats, depending on the academic discipline.  The MLA, APA, and Harvard citation methods are widely used by various academic faculties.

Why are citations used in the literature review? A few possible reasons for providing citations in your literature review are:

To acknowledge intellectual property and avoid plagiarism.     
To enable your professor to check your interpretation of your sources.   
To acknowledge other researchers’ achievements.
To give your argument greater persuasive authority and gravitas.
To identify a gap in the existing research and explain how your research fills that gap.

This is just the first in a series of articles on writing your literature review.

Please check our site often.  We frequently add new tips on writing papers!

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