How to write a literature review


Some people may think that writing a literature review easy, read the book enough, then just say, like it or not. This is not true. Literary Review is a review of various publications on the same topic, from a series of books and ending with shorter pieces, such as brochures. Sometimes the literature review is part of a larger research work. Goal – to prevent the duplication of efforts, to resolve conflicts, as well as chart the way for further research.


Before writing


Ask your professors requirements


Some teachers may ask you to review the literature and does not go into details. In any case, knowing exactly what your professor wants, this is the first step to the top.
What sources do you need to include in the review? Does he / she has a certain number of each type of source? Should they be modern?
Discussing the topic, you simply sum up or make a critical analysis? Some surveys require abstracts, some may not be required.
Do i need to express their views?
Should you provide background information, such as definitions or chronology, to help the audience understand the topic?
Are there requirements for the number of pages or words?


Ask the subject


Limit subject as possible, at the same time leaving a sufficient amount of necessary resources. The study of the chronology of the birth will take you to dozens of books.
Use modern sources. If you write a review on the history, humanities or social sciences, you can afford not to worry about the source of the output time (in fact, changing perspectives throughout history can be one of the aspects of your work). But if you write a review of literature in the field of science, for example, on the treatment of diabetes, five years ago the information may already be outdated. Browse current bibliographic reviews of the literature on the topic, to get an idea of what is happening in discipline.


Find the main idea


You do not just collect sources and summarize what they say. You have to understand what topics and ideas connect sources together. Think about these books is about a group of friends, arguing on the same topic. What they suggest? What they have in common and how they differ?
Read between the lines. Not necessarily look for hidden content. Is there any aspect that is missing? Stick to whether all of your sources of one particular theory? Do you see looming trends? The answers to these questions will help you build your research, pointing to the purpose of your work.


Build your thesis


Now that you have identified the main idea, it is time to formulate a succinct statement. You might think that literature reviews haven’t thesis assertion. This is partly true, and not true: there are abstracts in them, but they are completely different. Your statement is not necessarily thesis argues a position or opinion, but rather the contrary, it would advocate a particular point of view on the matter.
For example, “Modern trends in “your theme” are A, B and C”, or “Theory X is supported by most sources in 1985”. Saying something like this begs the question, you will make your review more interesting and important: how to change the trend in the future? What if the theories are not true?
Again, this is not new information. You do not analyze the material, telling your own, a fresh look at him. You just act like a computer – said the model assumptions, all of which reveal your sources.


Evaluate your sources


You can have the best of intentions and the narrative form that assures the most ardent skeptics, but if your sources are not viable, it will not work. Make sure that your sources are acknowledged on several levels.
What are the powers of the author? As his arguments are supported (comments, statistics, historical facts, research findings, etc.)?
Is the point of view of the author of an impartial and objective? Does he / she ignore any data to reinforce their point of view?
Are they convincing? Are they not wishful thinking?
Does their work lead to a greater understanding of the subject?


Preparation of review


Start with a confident entry


First impression very important. Your introduction should give an idea of ??the subject of your review, do not deviate from the theme.
Help the reader, letting them know what to expect. If you are using a form of theses statements, place them at the end of your introductory paragraph. In the end, your reader should anticipate the bulk of your research.


Organize the main part of the review


This is the part where you have the greatest opportunities. Do you have a number of sources and, as they are all on the same topic, they probably have a lot in common. Choose any method that seems most natural to you, to your main thoughts.
Build a work in chronological order. If you are dealing with a variety of views over the age, or a change in trends over time, the chronological order seems more appropriate.
Build a work in book form. This organizational method is appropriate if each publication has a different point of view. If there is a natural development (from radical to conservative, for example) between the sources, this method works like clockwork.
Make a work in the form of publications. If you notice patterns in the sources, the location of their tendencies, they support may be the most obvious structure. Some sources can work together to maintain the same trend that changes from epoch to epoch, from region to region.
Use the structure of the topic. It depends on the form of theses statements and from selected sources. If you choose the main theme of the abstract ( “Colonialism – is evil”, for example), subsections can be arranged according to different themes used for disclosure methods.


Make a clear conclusion


In the final section, you should give a brief conclusion of your work, to repeat what was said in the introduction (prologue), and discuss what you learned in the course of your research.
You can draw a conclusion that is suggestive. How can develop a discussion, if someone else will continue it? What are the natural result of today?


Use clear evidence


Feel free to retell the sources in their own words, to make the argument. You use your own words, backed up by the work of professionals.
However, use caution citation. The essence of the literature review does not provide an in-depth discussion or detailed quotes from the text. Some short quotations are appropriate, but in general, it must be written by you.


Write your own words


No, you do not notify the information taken from nowhere, but you still have to start and end each paragraph in your own words. Your statements should be major.
Recounting the source, make sure you do not distort the information and opinion of the author. Then, tie it to the context of your review.
Some professors may require you to appreciate the sources and concluded, what work have made the greatest contribution to the study of this question. If you are passionate about this issue, indicate your opinion in the introduction and draw a red line through his work.




Look again the demands


Some professors require to register works in a certain way. Make sure you take into account not only the requirements for the content, but also to the form.
Does your teacher make work in a special format? Should there be a field? Headings, footnotes, notes and page numbers? How to make the headlines, subheads, your name? How to make quotation?


Check on the logic of narration and transitions between paragraphs


It’s better to stick to a clear and concise presentation of ideas, it’s not always easy to do on the first attempt. Return to the beginning of your work and rephrase what you seemed ambiguous or verbose.
If all the above it is clear as day, whether it is integrally bound to? Do not just logical transitions from paragraph to paragraph, but from sentence to sentence? Make sure your evidence backed up by sources, and the location of the logical sections.
Avoid jargon or slang. You may have learned a whole new vocabulary during this study, but your professor did not. Please work to a large audience of listeners. Do not make it too esoteric.


Adjust your work


The most difficult thing you’ve done. Now all you have to do is to see the work for spelling, grammar and punctuation. Take a break between writing and proofreading – your brain may be a bit jaded. Go back to work, when you’re ready.
It is best to have someone else review your work. You may have read it so many times that can no longer be seen by careless mistakes. Another view may find errors that you may not have noticed, to ask questions, left without attention, or get on the obscure points of clarification.




Use the correct quote. Your task is to determine what kinds of registration of quotations in the text you should use. Often teachers require strict design quotes.
Write your review of the plan. This will help you to express your thoughts in a certain sequence, which will facilitate the work of writing.


literature review