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Friday, May 5, 2017

Importance of a Good Literature Review

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A literature review may consist of simply a summary of key sources, but in the social sciences, a literature review usually has an organizational pattern and combines both summary and synthesis, often within specific conceptual categories. 
A summary is a recap of the important information of the source, but a synthesis is a re-organization, or a reshuffling, of that information in a way that informs how you are planning to investigate a research problem.
The analytical features of a literature review might:
1. Give a new interpretation of old material or combine new with old interpretations,
2.Trace the intellectual progression of the field, including major debates,

3. Depending on the situation, evaluate the sources and advise the reader on the most pertinent or relevant research, or
4. Usually in the conclusion of a literature review, identify where gaps exist in how a problem has been researched to date.

The purpose of a literature review is to:
1. Place each work in the context of its contribution to understanding the research problem being studied.
2. Describe the relationship of each work to the others under consideration.
3. Identify new ways to interpret prior research.
4. Reveal any gaps that exist in the literature.
5. Resolve conflicts amongst seemingly contradictory previous studies.
6. Identify areas of prior scholarship to prevent duplication of effort.
7. Point the way in fulfilling a need for additional research.
8. Locate your own research within the context of existing literature [very important].

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