Conducting Literature Reviews

Conducting Literature Reviews-75
Data may be derived from the examination of human subjects, from conducting surveys or assessments, from the study of particular species of plants or animals, from the systematic scientific measurement of any physical phenomena, from nearly anything that can be documented and analyzed.

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This is the most common form of review in the social sciences.

Historical Review Few things rest in isolation from historical precedent.

The review typically involves a search of any previously published or presented materials that might have relevance to a prospective new study.

If the point of a research project is solely to review what has already been written on a topic, the resulting article is termed a "survey of the literature" or a "literature survey" or even a "literature review." In this case, the article is complete in itself and does not delve into anything new regarding the topic.

Given this, while literature reviews are designed to provide an overview and synthesis of pertinent sources you have explored, there are a number of approaches you could adopt depending upon the type of analysis underpinning your study.

Argumentative Review This form examines literature selectively in order to support or refute an argument, deeply imbedded assumption, or philosophical problem already established in the literature.

Both involve research in order to come to a better understanding of a topic.

A literature review surveys books, scholarly articles, and any other sources relevant to a particular issue, area of research, or theory, and by so doing, provides a description, summary, and critical evaluation of these works in relation to the research problem being investigated.

However, note that they can also introduce problems of bias when they are used to make summary claims of the sort found in systematic reviews [see below].

Integrative Review Considered a form of research that reviews, critiques, and synthesizes representative literature on a topic in an integrated way such that new frameworks and perspectives on the topic are generated.

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