Writing A Literature Review For A Research Project

This is where the subtleties of the English language tend to cause a lot of confusion."Research" can have many different meanings, and to complete a really successful final year project the first thing to do it to understand fully what is expected of you in an academic context.Even if your final year at University is the last experience you have of academic work, remember that your work will be marked according to academic criteria, and academia has quite different aims to industry.

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It might be a new perspective on a piece of literature, a new proof of a theorem, a new application of a particular technology, or something else.

Since you are still an undergraduate it is likely (although not necessary) that your work will be a small step forward.

Another common mistake is to review literature that has been used to inform some part of the practical work of the project, rather than to review work that has answered the same or related research questions.

To do better, your writing needs to not only summarise the prior art in your area, but also synthesise what is in the literature.

A thesis is a statement of belief that is central to your research.

Your dissertation will be a piece of writing that defends your thesis, based on your research.I say "roughly" because, depending on the exact nature of your work, it may be sensible to expand some sections into two chapters rather than one, or to coalesce some elements into a single chapter.Your supervisor can give you more specific advice on this.Poor literature reviews often take the same form -- they tend to be a (usually short) list of papers that the student has read, briefly summarised.This is not really what is expected and will not gain high marks.These questions crop up frequently and will be familiar to any readers who are starting their own project.However, when you fully understand the purpose of the literature and how to go about writing one, you begin to realise that these questions are actually not that important.So, for example, if your thesis is regular, online tests help University students to learn new material then you will need to implement some sort of online tests for new material, design and run an experiment to test your thesis, and write it up in your dissertation.Equally, if your thesis is water causes cancer in mice then you will need to plan and run an experiment to determine whether or not this is true and write it up.This post is designed to help students make that transition, from not yet understanding what the literature review is for, to having a thorough understanding of its purpose and a clear idea of how to write it up.A lot of students starting off their projects talk about writing a "report" at the end of their "project" and doing some "research" as part of their literature review.

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