Need For Literature Review

Not only do dissertations contain literature reviews, but most articles and grant proposals have some form of literature review included in them.

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As in all scholarly writing, the literature review must be well structured, and your ideas must flow logically from one point to the next.Your literature review must not only demonstrate that you understand important conversations and debates surrounding your project and your position in regard to the conversations, but it must also create an argument as to why your work is relevant to your field of study.In order to create such an argument you must evaluate the relevant research, describing its strengths and weaknesses in relation to your project.You will also need to show your readers which research is relevant to understanding your project and explain how you position your work in relationship to what has come before your project.In order to do this, it may be helpful to think about the nature of your research project. For example, your research project may focus on extending existing research by applying it in a new context.Most important, you need to establish your credibility with your reader: In writing your review of literature, you need to consider your audience. Are they well-versed in your topic, or are they new to the material?Do you need to walk your readers through the basic theories and definitions so that they can assess the merits of the problem you propose to investigate?Where undergraduates often write to demonstrate a mastery of existing knowledge, graduate students are considered scholars and move toward creating new knowledge.Writing in graduate school, then, focuses on communicating that new knowledge to others in their field.Think of the literature review as the place where you take your readers by the hand and guide them through all the essential details they need to know to understand the rest of the paper without your help.At the end of the review, think of yourself as letting go of your readers’ hands, and saying, “You now know enough to take it from here.


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