A literature review surveys books, scholarly articles, and any other sources relevant to a particular issue, area of research, or theory, and by so doing, provides a description, summary, and critical evaluation of these works in relation to the research problem being investigated.
Literature reviews are designed to provide an overview of sources you have explored while researching a particular topic and to demonstrate to your readers how your research fits within a larger field of study.
The theoretical literature review helps to establish what theories already exist, the relationships between them, to what degree the existing theories have been investigated, and to develop new hypotheses to be tested. Should I provide subheadings and other background information, such as definitions and/or a history?
Often this form is used to help establish a lack of appropriate theories or reveal that current theories are inadequate for explaining new or emerging research problems. Use the exercise of reviewing the literature to examine how authors in your discipline or area of interest have composed their literature review sections.
In composing a literature review, it is important to note that it is often this third layer of knowledge that is cited as "true" even though it often has only a loose relationship to the primary studies and secondary literature reviews.
Critical Literature Review Template
Given this, while literature reviews are designed to provide an overview and synthesis of pertinent sources you have explored, there are a number of approaches you could adopt depending upon the type of analysis underpinning your study.Second are the reviews of those studies that summarize and offer new interpretations built from and often extending beyond the primary studies.Third, there are the perceptions, conclusions, opinion, and interpretations that are shared informally that become part of the lore of field.This approach helps highlight ethical issues which you should be aware of and consider as you go through your own study.Systematic Review This form consists of an overview of existing evidence pertinent to a clearly formulated research question, which uses pre-specified and standardized methods to identify and critically appraise relevant research, and to collect, report, and analyze data from the studies that are included in the review.For example, a book surveying the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict may include a chapter on the role Egypt has played in mediating the conflict, or look in the index for the pages where Egypt is mentioned in the text.Some disciplines require that you use information that is as current as possible.The analytical features of a literature review might: It is important to think of knowledge in a given field as consisting of three layers.First, there are the primary studies that researchers conduct and publish.Reviewing methods of analysis provides a framework of understanding at different levels [i.e.those of theory, substantive fields, research approaches, and data collection and analysis techniques], how researchers draw upon a wide variety of knowledge ranging from the conceptual level to practical documents for use in fieldwork in the areas of ontological and epistemological consideration, quantitative and qualitative integration, sampling, interviewing, data collection, and data analysis.