Scientific Literature Review

Scientific Literature Review-45
The ability to review, and to report on relevant literature is a key academic skill.A literature review: To some extent, particularly with postgraduate research, the literature review can become a project in itself.

The ability to review, and to report on relevant literature is a key academic skill.

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A literature review can be a precursor to the introduction of a research paper, or it can be an entire paper in itself, acting as the first stage of large research projects and allowing the supervisor to ascertain that the student is on the correct path.

A literature review is a critical and in depth evaluation of previous research.

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All sides of an argument must be clearly explained, to avoid bias, and areas of agreement and disagreement should be highlighted.

A literature review is likewise not a collection of quotes and paraphrasing from other sources.It is a summary and synopsis of a particular area of research, allowing anybody reading the paper to establish why you are pursuing this particular research.A good literature review expands on the reasons behind selecting a particular research question.It would be safer and probably more realistic to say that your research will ‘address a gap’, rather than that it will ‘fill a gap’.When readers come to your assignment, dissertation, or thesis, they will not just assume that your research or analysis is a good idea; they will want to be persuaded that it is relevant and that it was worth doing.It can also establish a framework within which to present and analyse the findings.After reading your literature review, it should be clear to the reader that you have up-to-date awareness of the relevant work of others, and that the research question you are asking is relevant. Be wary of saying that your research will solve a problem, or that it will change practice.This Study Guide explains why literature reviews are needed, and how they can be conducted and reported.Related Study Guides are: Referencing and bibliographies, Avoiding plagiarism, Writing a dissertation, What is critical reading? The focus of the Study Guide is the literature review within a dissertation or a thesis, but many of the ideas are transferable to other kinds of writing, such as an extended essay, or a report.Evaluating the credibility of sources is one of the most difficult aspects of a literature review, especially with the ease of finding information on the internet.The only real way to evaluate is through experience, but there are luckily a few tricks for evaluating information quickly and accurately. Google does not distinguish or judge the quality of results, only how search engine friendly a paper is.

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