How to Work on a Literature Review in Steps

For most college students, a research paper might be one of the most challenging papers that they ever work on. This lengthy paper requires students to dedicate themselves to formulating their own research questions, collecting the necessary information, and then presenting their understanding of the subject. As such, this is an assignment that can result in sleepless nights for a student.

Nevertheless, like most other papers, breaking down this task undoubtedly makes progress relatively straightforward. It follows then that a learner must look at a research paper as a combination of several related sections. In this article, we are looking to address one of the most demanding parts of a research paper.

A literature review can vary in format depending on the area of study. However, most fields follow the standard structure. Whereby your literature review must be formulated in the form of an essay. Hence, it will comprise an introduction to the section, the main body that outlines the relevant information, and a conclusion that summarizes all the key ideas.

It is worth considering that if you want your review to stand out, you must not limit yourself to merely summarizing the relevant knowledge that you have collected. Additionally, you should provide an analysis of the content in relation to your subject. It must then be followed by your interpretation and critical analysis. This helps you give a more in-depth insight into your paper while also providing the reader with a clear idea of the basis of your research.

Writing a Literature Review in Steps

As has been mentioned before, the most practical means of nailing any academic paper is splitting it into manageable tasks. Working on this review can be broken down into four steps.

Collecting Relevant Information

It follows that you must search for preexisting knowledge related to the subject of your paper. This means you must then have entirely understood your topic and the objectives of your research. Fortunately, each source can always lead you to more related content.

Evaluating the Sources

Not all the information you obtain will be applicable in your paper. Since you are working on research, you must determine how valid and reliable a source is to your objectives. Furthermore, you will be required to provide citations. It goes without saying that your sources must be academically credible.

Establishing Themes

Once you are content with the information you have collected, it follows that you must develop a system for presentation. Preferably, you should write down notes when you are gathering the information. It helps you to determine the points that culminate in a common theme. Similarly, it allows you to establish knowledge gaps.

Developing an Outline

An outline is essentially the framework from which you will develop the review. It helps you to organize your ideas in terms of significance and relevance to the subject. More so, it allows you to include all the essential sections.

From these four steps, you will then proceed to write the review. As you will find out, these steps make the writing process relatively straightforward. Finally, remember to proofread your work once you are done writing.

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