What is a Literature Review

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Post on 15-Jan-2016

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definition of literature review

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What is a literature review?A literature review is a select analysis of existing research which is relevant to your topic, showing how it relates to your investigation. It explains and justifies how your investigation may help answer some of the questions or gaps in this area of research.A literature review is not a straightforward summary of everything you have read on the topic and it is not a chronological description of what was discovered in your field.A longer literature review mayhave headingsto help group the relevant research into themes or topics. This gives a focus to your analysis, as you can group similar studies together and compare and contrast their approaches, any weaknesses or strengths in their methods, and their findings.One common way to approach a literature review is tostart out broad and then become more specific. Think of it as an inverted triangle. First briefly explain the broad issues related to your investigation; you don't need to write much about this, just demonstrate that you are aware of the breadth of your subject. Then narrow your focus to deal with the studies that overlap with your research. Finally, hone in on any research which is directly related to your specific investigation. Proportionally you spend most time discussing those studies which have most direct relevance to your research.

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