Why Is A Literature Review Important

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Staff and students in your area can be good sources of ideas about where to look for relevant literature.

They may already have copies of articles that you can work with.

You can then begin your process of evaluating the quality and relevance of what you read, and this can guide you to more focussed further reading. It can give you a degree of control, in what can feel like an overwhelming and uncontrollable stage of the research process.

Taylor and Procter of The University of Toronto have some useful suggested questions to ask yourself at the beginning of your reading: can add other questions of your own to focus the search, for example: What time period am I interested in? Searching electronic databases is probably the quickest way to access a lot of material.

It is an important showcase of your talents of: understanding, interpretation, analysis, clarity of thought, synthesis, and development of argument.

The process of conducting and reporting your literature review can help you clarify your own thoughts about your study.

It is important that your literature review is more than just a list of references with a short description of each one. Merriam (1988:6) describes the literature review as: Merriam’s statement was made in 1988, since which time there has been further extension of the concept of being ‘published’ within the academic context.

The term now encompasses a wide range of web-based sources, in addition to the more traditional books and print journals.

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.

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