One of the critical skills you will gain in college (mostly at the postgraduate level), is the ability to review scholarly publications. In this case, we are referring to the literature review.
When looking for literature review help, you first need to understand the type of literature review that you need to produce. It could be a standalone paper or part of a bigger project.
You should also know that a literature review isn’t just a summary of existing literature on a particular topic. It also involves an analysis of the information.
Literature Review vs. an Academic Research Paper
When writing literature reviews, you need to focus on a specific topic of interest. Other times you may need to limit your research on materials on the subject, of a particular period.
It all depends on the given set of instructions. You then go further and summarize the information on the selected source material as you synthesize it. That is to evaluate the data.
Compared to an academic research paper which aims to introduce new argument on an issue, APA style literature review (and other lit review styles) focuses on the summary and analysis of the source.
In that, a literature review can be part of your research paper as it provides support to the new insight you would like to introduce.
Help with Writing a Literature Review
• Define your scope
The best reviews are those with a clearly defined topic. It will also make your research efforts, less time consuming as you will only look for sources relevant to your research topic.
As you do so, go for primary sources. They are more credible than founding your literature review on other reviews. Identify the themes that connect the materials and focus on it, in your piece.
• Identify relevant sources
Consider current sources as you look for information on your subject of interest. Sort through the latest literature reviews and bibliographies in that field. It will give you a sense of what is expected in that area.
Also, it helps you identify the interests of scholars in the field, in the present. In sciences especially, due to continually changing discoveries, familiarity with the latest studies in an area, is essential.
• Take Notes during Research
Since you are probably going to go through several publications, it’s advisable to take notes as you read. It helps you note down any relevant information that you come across. Thus, when you get to the compiling of the first draft, you will have a basis for the paper.
Also, remember to use quotation marks for the sections you copy verbatim. Note down the sources of information, too.
• Develop your first draft
It’s possible that you won’t cover every material on your subject of interest. However, you can still craft a thorough and consistent document.
To achieve this; it’s best to start writing your literature review from the get-go.
Start with the structure of the review then focus on content. You can leave the stylistic guidelines for later. Allocate time to write every day.
Final Take on Writing Literature Review
Since writing a literature review includes critical thinking, don’t forget to add to the conversation. It demonstrates to the reader that you have explored the subject matter, thoroughly.
Also, take time to go through the final copy of the literature before you submit it. It’s the time to polish up the document and ensure that you produce a quality paper.