Literature review involves compiling and evaluating the systematic identification, location, and analysis of a certain topic or issue being researched on and writing about it. It should be broad since its main objective is to acquire detailed knowledge of a topic of study (Hart, 2018). A literature review is essential in executing student projects, dissertations, and research studies. In most cases, a topic being researched is often fairly narrowed and focused upon posing a difficulty to appreciate the research subject in relation to other similar study areas. Therefore, a literature review helps in the growth of knowledge and appreciation of the sequential way of doing things.
In scholar work, a literature review is the most important aspect as it reflects the level of scholarship of the researcher in terms of the quality (Boote & Beile, 2005). Quality literature reviews are rare to find in the many types of research that are done. Some of them even lack the resemblance of a typical literature review. An effective review facilitates theory development, covers areas where research already exists, and discloses areas where there is research necessity.
A literature review is important in the development of research project for the following reasons:
The Scope of the Literature Review
In a literature review, determining the precise scope is important as this identifies common questions of a research topic (Webster & Watson, 2002). These questions include
These are part of significant questions that determine the scope of the literature review. Using the experience, they are easily answered. Moreover, there exist the following useful hints that determine the scope:
Generally, on developing a research project, the literature review addresses the following issues the research type, present results, and conclusions and identify the literature gaps present that need further inquiry. The significance of a research topic determines the main focus of a literature review. The use of bibliographies and references in reviewing, ease locating relative searches.
Hart, C. (2018). Doing a Literature Review: Releasing the Research Imagination. Sage.
Boote, D. N., & Beile, P. (2005). Scholars before researchers: On the centrality of the dissertation literature review in research preparation. Educational Researcher, 34(6), 3-15.Webster, J., & Watson, R. T. (2002). Analyzing the past to prepare for the future: Writing a literature review. MIS quarterly, xiii-xxiii.
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