How to write literature reviews for research papers
A research paper has many components. Some of them are mandatory while some others are optional. One of the components which is considered optional for academic research papers is the literature review. Even though the section is included in academic research paper only if specified, it is better to have an idea of what it is. It is also advisable to find out how to prepare a literature review for research paper as most scholarly research papers ask for the section.
What is a literature review?
There are many purposes which are served by the literature review section of a research paper. If you take a note of those purposes, it will help you in preparing impressive literature reviews for research papers. The most important function of a literature review is to summarize the information regarding the previous studies conducted on the topic, for the audience. The information on the previous researches would make it easier for the readers to understand the prominence of your research work, in the subject area. It would also add to your credibility by showcasing your knowledge of the history of the research problem. You can also impress upon the scope of the research problem by presenting the important researches done on it.
How to prepare a good literature review?
A literature review is usually placed between the title page and the research paper. This section is also to be structured using an introduction, body paragraphs and a conclusion. While preparing a literature review for research paper, ensure that no irrelevant points find their way into it. You must not include researches which are not formally recorded, either. Whatever you include in the literature review must be properly referenced. Try to avoid direct quotes as you are just reviewing the matter. As the section comes before the research paper, the readers tend to form an opinion about the scholar’s knowledge of the topic and familiarity with it, based on the literature review he, or she, has put together. Hence, you must prepare your review in such a way that it adds to your credibility and the impressiveness of your research paper.
The basic elements of a literature review
The content of a literature review is highly dependent on the subject and the nature of research. For that reason, it might take you some time to figure out the perfect method of framing the literature reviews in your subject. It will be useful to go through the literature reviews in some good research paper samples in your subject area, in order to gather an idea of the options you have with the content and presentation of the section. But, in general, the most ideal points to include in literature reviews are:
1. An introduction of the topic.
2. An overview of the researches held on the topic, till date.
3. The past findings which are relevant to your research.
4. An update of the progress of research on your topic.
5. The current status of the research problem.
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