Once you have decided on a research area/topic you’d like to study and have formulated a research question, you need to review the literature on that topic. A literature review is a critical summary of all the published works on a particular topic.
Sounds easy right? But it is not actually. Sometimes it will take your breathing down.
Don’t worry, let me share something with you on how we can deal with it efficiently.
But wait, before we go further, let’s see the definition of literature review first.
Commonly, literature review or better known as ‘lit review’ is a comprehensive summary of previous studies that are related to our research topic or research questions. It must be from reliable sources such as journal articles, books or other sources relevant to our research areas. Also, this is a very important section when we write an article journal or academic writing.
By doing the literature review, will provide you an overview of current knowledge and it allows you to detect relevant theories that relate to your study. Besides, by reading past studies, perhaps you will know which methodology you should use and the most important thing is, emerging gaps in the existing research.
I did some desktop research on how we can produce a good literature review. Here is what I found, writing from Shona McCombes, published on 22 February 2019. She had shared in her writing on the five main steps in the process of literature review which include:
- Search for relevant literature
- Evaluate sources
- Identify themes, debates, and gaps
- Outline the structure
- Write your literature review
No doubt. What she mentioned is truly important. However, the first three steps involve reading elements. Therefore, it is crucial for us as researchers to have guidance or tools in helping us to read the literature review effectively.
This is a challenging process for students or anyone who is undertaking research to do a literature review for the first time. And most of them, having the same issues – a problem in conducting a proper literature review! Yes, it is difficult to do however you have plenty of methods out there you could apply to do your review of the literature. By thinking that, I have come out with a video of the steps that I undertake – I think it will be useful for you to apply too. Therefore, in this post, I will share with all of you the steps you should take in reading literature reviews – of course, it will ease your reading and timing as well 🙂
Feel free to browse the video!
Basically, this video will cover important aspects you need to know before you read and search for journal articles. Also, guidance on how to read the literature review effectively.