In the first article of the research series, I discussed means of getting started in research, choosing a research area and development of a research question. This leads the research student on to the development of a research proposal, however, before the final research proposal can be developed, it is imperative that the previous literature in the area is scoped and evaluated to identify the need for the proposed study and establish its context in the specific research area. In this article, I will discuss means of undertaking and presenting a literature review.
What is a literature review?- A literature review has been defined as a process of searching, reading, analyzing, summarizing and presenting the body of evidence related to any specific topic in a sequential manner. It should be considered as a means of undertaking a thorough, objective and critical examination of currently available research literature on a topic. It should not be considered as an act off simply finding a few articles and writing up their results in a few paragraphs to form the literature review of your dissertation/ thesis. On the contrary, a well written literature review tells a complete story about any topic in a succinct, clear manner and presents a clear argument for the need for your research by highlighting the gaps in knowledge.
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