A literature review entails an explanation and a summary of the current and complete state of knowledge on certain topic as found in journal articles or academic books. There 2 types of literature reviews; A standalone assignment and literature review as part of preparation of a thesis/research report. The perspective and focus of the review and kind of arguments or hypothesis made relies on type of review a student is writing.
Content of review
Explains the focus and establishes the importance of the subject. It present what kind of the work has been done on the topic and identify controversies within the field. In standalone assignment it concludes with a purpose/thesis statement.
It is presented and organized into subtopics. It discusses the major themes, trends and findings which the investigator/writer agree or disagree.
Along with summarizing the evidence presented, the conclusion shows its significance. Where the review is part of preparation of thesis, it highlights the gaps and demonstrate how previous researches leads to the research project and selected methodologies.
Steps to write a literature review
1. Find a working topic- look at specific area which interest you.
2. Review the literature – by the help of keywords, search a database
3. Focus narrowly and select the most appropriate sources
4. Read the selected sources/articles/journals and evaluate them
5. Organize the sources/papers using developing subtopics and patterns
6. Develop a working thesis
7. Organize your paper using the findings from the sources/papers/journals/articles
8. write the paper
9. proofread and make edits