Study guide For a printer-friendly PDF version of this guide, click here This Study Guide explains why literature reviews are needed, and how they can be conducted and reported. Related Study Guides are: Referencing and bibliographiesAvoiding plagiarismWriting a dissertationWhat is critical reading?
Making sense of what has been written on your topic. Before doing work in primary sources, historians must know what has been written on their topic. They must be familiar with Sample literature review and arguments—as well as facts—that appear in secondary sources.
Before you proceed with your research project, you too must be familiar with the literature: You want to be able to discuss and analyze your topic. Depends on the assignment, but for Senior Thesesat least ten is typical.
Your literature review must include enough works to provide evidence of both the breadth and the depth of the research on your topic or, at least, one important angle of it.
The number of works necessary to do this will depend on your topic. For most topics, AT LEAST TEN works mostly books but also significant scholarly articles are necessary, although you will not necessarily give all of them equal treatment in your paper e.
As you uncover the literature i. Your ability to do so will demonstrate your understanding of the evolution of literature. This list is not exhaustive. You might also decide to subdivide categories based on other criteria. Do not arbitrarily choose a categorization; use the one that the literature seems to fall into.
How do you do that?
For every source, you should note its thesis, date, author background, methodology, and sources. Does a pattern appear when you consider such information from each of your sources? If so, you have a possible thesis about the literature. If not, you might still have a thesis. Are there missing elements in the literature?
For example, no works published during a particular usually fairly lengthy time period? Or do studies appear after long neglect of a topic? Do interpretations change at some point? Does the major methodology being used change?
Do interpretations vary based on sources used? The literature review is a research paper with three ingredients: These ingredients must be presented in an essay with an introduction, body, and conclusion. The thesis of a literature review should not only describe how the literature has evolved, but also provide a clear evaluation of that literature.
You should assess the literature in terms of the quality of either individual works or categories of works. For instance, you might argue that a certain approach e.
You should also ensure that you integrate that evaluation throughout your argument. Doing so might include negative assessments of some works in order to reinforce your argument regarding the positive qualities of other works and approaches to the topic.
Within each group, you should provide essential information about each work: In most cases, arranging the sources chronologically by publication date within each section makes the most sense because earlier works influenced later ones in one way or another.
Reference to publication date also indicates that you are aware of this significant historiographical element. It helps the reader follow your thesis, and it convinces the reader that you know what you are talking about. Providing author and title and date in the paper is not sufficient.
Norton, Your conclusion should not only reiterate your argument thesisbut also discuss questions that remain unanswered by the literature. What has the literature accomplished?1 Sample Literature Review Contributed by Susan McKenna and Marcia Curtis This is the sort of literature review that might be incorporated into an analytical essay.
The main purpose of the literature review work was to survey previous studies on knowledge sharing and intranets. This was in order to scope out the key data collection requirements for the primary research to be conducted, and it formed part of the emergent research design.
Writing a Psychology Literature Review. APA Format Literature Review: Step-By-Step What Is an APA Format Literature Review Often when writing a literature review, APA (American Psychological Association) is the format that is requested.
A guide to writing abstracts. Abstracts, Literature Reviews, and Annotated Bibliographies: Abstract Guides & Examples. Literature Review on HIV and AIDS, Education and Marginalization Prepared by the UNAIDS Inter-Agency Task Team (IATT) on Education examples, and relevant references for different sections of the reports.
The inclusion of related children orphaned by AIDS as there is a body of literature .