In-depth Analysis on a Literature Review in Academic Research Project

Last Updated on June 23, 2019 by Chrisantus Oden

In-depth Analysis on a Literature Review in Academic Research Project

Literature And Theoretical Frameworks

Literature Review:

A literature review is an account of what has been published on a topic by accredited scholars and researchers. It is a text of a scholarly paper, which to an extends includes the current knowledge including substantive findings, as well as theoretical and methodological contributions to a particular topic. Furthermore, literature review is a crucial analysis of published sources, or literature on a particular topic. It is an assessment of the literature and provides a summary, classification, comparison and evaluation. A literature review is a search and evaluation of the available literature in your given subject or chosen topic area. It document the state of the art with respects to the subject or topic you are writing about.

In addition to the above, literature review is a careful and revision of the writings or collection or productions that exist on the phenomenon under review. It entails the ability of the researcher to show the state-of-art of his or her work. It surveys previous works carried out on the problem under investigation, with a view of showing the strengths and weakness of those previous works in order to establish an area of possible advancement in the current investigation. In other words, a comprehensive review of literature will definitely gap in existing literature.

In writing the literature review, the researcher’s purpose is to convey to the reader what knowledge and ideas have been established on a topic, and what their strength and weakness are. Literature review is not providing endless quotations of previous authors, scholarly text, or researchers works. The depth and currency of literature review are very crucial. It establishes a linkage between the theoretical framework of the study and the statement of the problem. A literature review has four main objectives viz:

  1. It surveys the literature in the researchers chosen area of the study.
  2. It synthesizes the information in that literature in to a summary.
  3. It critically analysis’s the information gathered by identifying gaps in current knowledge :by showing limitations of theories and points of view; and by formulating areas for further researcher and reviewing areas of controversy.
  4. It presents the literature in an organizing way.

Thus a comprehensive review of the literature is important because it:

(A) Provides an up-to-date understanding of the subject and its significance to (your) practice;

(B) Identifies the methods used in previous research on the topic;

(C) Helps you to work out how to answer the questions – and indeed, what questions need to be asked;

(D) Provides comparisons for your own research findings.

However, the importance of the literature review is that your research proposal will be so easy to write once you have done this. Everything in your research proposal flows from your literature review – indeed, you may find from the literature that the questions you wish to deal with in your own research have already been answered, and so there is no need for you to undertake your research. In that case, you may decide that either there is no need to do any research, or your review of the literature may have pointed you in the direction of another piece of research related to your interests/practice, etc., because you have identified gaps in the literature (even though your own topic has been well covered) and you want to examine those.

Finally, literature review can be presented through any of the following styles: thematic approach, chronological approach and eclectic approach i.e combing thematic and chronological approaches.