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Literature Reviews Noteworthy Tips On How To Conduct Them

By Expert Author: Ronald Bell

Literature reviews are written accounts of what has been published, on a given topic, by accredited researchers and scholars. These reviews can be written as part of a separate assignment. (Read in the form of an annotated bibliography). But mostly they are written as part of the introduction to a thesis, research report or an essay.
The main purpose of writing a review is to aptly convey, in clear language, profound knowledge and ideas being established in the paper topic - including their strengths and weaknesses. Thus they must be well-defined by a guiding concept that effectually seeks to list objectives and issues discussed in the thesis statement.
When writing a review one thing should be considered: demonstration of exceptional skills in the information seeking and critical appraisal area. The former is the ability to efficiently peruse literature using manual or computerized methods. While the latter is the ability to apply principles of analysis to identify unbiased and valid studies.
But while that is important, organizing your literature review is imperative. Organization ensures your work relates directly to the research question asked. A good review should easily synthesize its results into a summary of the known and the unknown. It must also identify areas of literature controversy, while creating researchable questions.
Since reviews are pieces of discursive prose, and not list of words summarizing a piece of literature after another, it is essential to ask (yourself) relevant questions prior to writing your literature review. This helps in creating an outstanding outline that will act as a guide.
For instance, ask yourself whether your review helps define the specific thesis. You should also query the type of review you are conducting. Does it look at issues of theory? What about the pertinent methodologies? Not to forget policies? And what about the research, is it qualitative or quantitative?
For the sake of an excellent review, go deeper. Unearth a plethora of questions that will guide you to clearly write well. Probe further the scope of your literature review. And while at it, ask yourself the main type of publication that you intend to use. Like say, will you be using a book, a journal, a popular media magazine or a government document?
Focus on the discipline you intend to work in as well. It could either be medicine, sociology or psychology. You can also question, your information seeking skills when writing. Has the research been wide enough to certain all the relevant materials found? Conversely, have you narrowed enough the research to a point of excluding irrelevant materials?
The list could go on into an inexhaustible infinity, as there are a myriad of questions that one can incorporate in their outline - all which can easily act as a guide to appropriately write a catchy and winning review. If you happen to also write an annotated bibliography, summarize each question briefly while following through the appropriate themes and concepts.

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