Creating A Literature Review

A literature review demonstrates that you have read around your topic and have a broad understanding of previous research, including its limitations.

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Spend time working out which of the available databases are going to be most useful for your topic, including asking the librarians for advice.

A simple way to get started with finding appropriate materials is simply to ask people who are likely to know.

In other words, content has not necessarily been checked, you have no way of knowing whether the author’s facts and claims are at all accurate and you could easily land yourself in trouble by blindly following or citing from online sources.

Furthermore, because items on the internet are frequently changed, you may find that something you read yesterday is no longer available in the same form today.

You will also use the literature review to justify the value of doing research on your topic by showing what is already known, what is not yet known, and how it is relevant.

Your literature review should not simply be descriptive but should also provide a critical analysis of the body of work, and demonstrate that you understand how it fits together as a whole and how your own research fits with previous studies.

If you’re really struggling to find articles on the right topic, but you’re certain that they must be out there, drop your supervisor a note asking about possible search terms.

Tell them what you’ve already used, and ask them for a few alternatives to get you started.

Librarians are usually hugely experienced in using all the search tools and databases, and can often show you much quicker ways of doing things, as well as tips and tricks to help you refine your search.

Furthermore, libraries may have copies of books and academic journals that are not available online.


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