Generally, academic papers aim to provide new research material about a particular subject, and a literature review features as part of this objective.
In a research paper, the literature review forms the basis of the research – it helps to highlight any research gaps as support for a new argument or insights you intend to provide.
To help you choose your sources appropriately, you might want to think about the parameters and objectives of your research. In your literature review, what theoretical issues or perspectives do you aim to tackle? Will you focus on mainly qualitative or quantitative studies, or a mixture of both?
These general questions should help guide you in selecting your sources and again, remember that the abstract of a source is a very useful tool.
In other instances, identifying the gap is an indication of good critical analysis and can score you extra points.
To identify the “gap” it is important that we know what this “gap” is.A literature review may also provide a thorough and critical outline of the intellectual developments in a field with a focus on major, and often polemical, debates.In other scenarios, a literature review may also provide an assessment of a source and inform a reader about its validity, pertinence and relevance to the research subject.Does this interpretation differ considerably from other viewpoints in the literature?This is the sort of critical engagement expected in a literature review.If you haven’t been given a formal reference list by your tutor, refer back to the techniques we recommended earlier.Make sure that your sources are balanced; include enough books and academic journals and any useful published work from reputable scholars.So, you have been tasked with writing your dissertation literature review. In short, a dissertation literature review provides a critical assessment of the sources (literature) you have gathered and read surrounding your subject area, and then identifies a “gap” in that literature that your research will attempt to address.It’s a simple endeavour; you just dust off your books, settle down in your chair coffee in hand, ready to jot down quick summaries of your readings as you skim through the pages. There are a lot of misunderstandings about what a dissertation literature review entails.Although it may seem arbitrary, the literature review helps to persuade the person reading and marking your assignment that what you have written about is relevant and your arguments are justified and worthwhile.So, in short, a literature review is essential, and you need to put the necessary time into getting it right.