How to Review the Literature for Your Research

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How to Review the Literature for Your Research
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Literature Review in Research is a fundamental part. Researchers begin literature review immediately after choosing a research question or Formulating a Research Problem. There must be sufficient knowledge on the subject in which the researcher intends in researching. So, he has to gather of all the research that has been done in the past regarding the research topic and that is currently underway.

In most cases, it will determine how good is your research results would be. Keep in mind that a good literature review will guide you in the right direction for your research journey. Therefore, in this post, we are going to explore the literature review details for how to review the literature for research.

1. Definition of Literature Review

A literature review defines the review of existing books, scholarly articles or research paper, research findings as well as theoretical and methodological contributions to a particular topic. Study of Literature provides an overview, a description, a summary and critical assessment of the research works in relation to your research problem or research questions. In fact, the literature review intends to present a comprehensive outline of sources of information you are going to investigate and to demonstrate to your followers how your research works relevant within a greater area of study.

2. Significance of a Good Literature Review

The literature review usually forms a summary of key sources of investigation. But, in social sciences, it habitually takes an organizational form and unites both a summary and synthesis most often in terms of conceptual categories.

A summary means a recapitulation of the essential information of the sources. On the other hand, synthesis is a re-construction of the information sources in such a way that informs us how are formulating to inquire a research question or research problem. A good literature study includes the following features:

(A) It provides a new explanation of the existing materials and information.

(B) Address the intellectual progress of the research including ongoing debates.

(C) It identifies the limitations of the old research resources as well.

3. Objectives of the Literature Review

The general objectives are to helping the researcher on the theoretical basis of the previous research. Researchers can find out what theoretical techniques have been adopted in previous studies and why. Moreover, there are the following objectives:

(1) Presenting each research works in terms of its contribution to making clear the research problem is being investigated.

(2) To identify the relationships of the existing research works to others.

(3) To explore new ways to describe previous research.

(4) To find out the gaps in the existing literature if there any.

(5) Conflict resolution from contradictory previous research.

(6) To point out why there is a need for this particular research.

4. Preparing Relevant Literature to Review

A useful list of literature must prepare for this review first. After the selection of the research topic, the researcher should focus on preparing a list of research or articles related to or directly related to the subject. Most importantly, this literature will include books, articles, documents, administrative reports etc published in the past.

Only by looking at the name, books will not be selected. Because, many times, the name of the book does not provide a proper or explicit idea about the content. For this, one must see the table of contents. If the index does not have all the details, then the inside section of the book should view after the contents. Thus, all the topics discussed in this book will be explicit.

Not all part of the books will be necessary for the researchers. It might only a part of any literature or article or book can be relevant in your research. Therefore, as you doing research, you should collect all effective & relevant existing literature to study.

Researchers do not have to take more selective views about preparing literature. Firstly, prepare detailed literature. After the study, analyze and evaluate the theory. Then, a  short version of the literature you should prepare in response to the demand for your research.

5. How to Review the Literature in Your Research

After preparing the literature, the researcher concentrates on the way to review the contents of the literature. The importance of adequate knowledge and efficiency for research widely expectable today. However, the researcher’s relevant literature is essential not only for findings the research topic but also for analyzing the methodology, collecting information and news. Mostly, this study is the only way to get acquainted with the thoughts of other researchers.

It is advisable to adopt some strategies for the study of literature. For example, reading and thinking about it. Therefore, we need to learn to achieve high-quality reading attitude.

So, what strategies we should follow to review relevant literature? Well. The skills required to study the literature are:

(A) Observation ability.

(B) The power of imagination.

(C) Constant attention to memorable analysis etc.

This requires even training and practice as well. In addition, you should focus on the following techniques when you study your literature.

First up, Read-only relevant books. Read the entire books or article or its chapters as needed.

Secondly, make understand what you read. Literature review means acquiring knowledge. So, one must try to understand the point of view of the author and what he meant.

Thirdly, Do it in a timely manner. There is a need for a specific time for research lessons. It should finish at this time.

Then, read it with the rule and the necessary breaks. Study to that time till you can concentrate on reading. Under stress, do not mind reading. While studying keep the head cool and think what you read.

6. Key Considerations

When you study the literature, you should be careful in the following considerations in order to make a good literature review for your research so that it would go in the right process. 

  1. The scope of the research study, hypothesis and what are the variables used in research.
  2. The specific field for a research study, for example, what area, city, village or slum and population.
  3. If it is sample-based research, which method of sampling has been used?
  4. If it is case study-based research, then, why case study and what characteristics defined this case study.
  5. Which method of data collection has been used and why?
  6. How is the data analyzed? Qualitative or quantitative and why?
  7. The limitations of the study which the researcher acknowledged.
  8. What are the recommendations based on the findings of the study?

In fact, there is no fixed method to review the literature in research. This review depends on the researcher’s interest, research topic and overall condition. However, this study is an essential part of all research studies. The literature review is a major chapter in the research report. How extensive the review would usually depend on a few factors. For example-

(A) The prevalent knowledge of this research topic

(B) The scope of the research

(C) Time-span

(D) Opportunities and facilities of the research.


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5 Basic Steps in Formulation of Hypothesis in Research

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