Before you start writing literature review, know exactly what your tutor wants. We recommend you to clarify the requirements specifically in case there is something wrong with your assignment and you don’t have a clue as to the right answer. In this case, you will be able to see your teacher in their office hours occasionally and inspect the work together.
Another moment that plays a key part in the literature review presentation is the understanding of the topic. Literature reviews are written to illuminate the book and the plot, so don’t hesitate to narrow the theme down if you are surrounded with piles of papers. Why is it so important? If the sources are liable, you can’t get away with a couple of quotations. You have to study the material and therefore skip the themes that do not seem relevant.
You also have to find the purpose of your research while writing. Unfortunately, if you gather information and structure it according to the requirements, it is not enough to create a good literature review. You have to incorporate the material into the body of the work and find a focus that would be clear and relevant. Say, you have a humanities article at hand, and you need a professional review that has to cover several points. Imagine you are having a dialogue with the author of the article. Generate ideas, based on that assumption, and proceed to the next step.
Construction of the paper
You have to organize the paper to provide your readers with a clear insight on the problem. Generally, a literature review consists of three parts:
- Introduction. Be careful with the introduction, as it is considered to be an entry to the whole paper. You can include thesis statement, but only if you see that it is shaped to fit the general theme. Your readers should know what to expect when they read the first paragraph.
- There are two common ways to organize the body of the work. You can structure it chronologically and thematically. If you choose the first option, remember to point out the memorable dates and names. It is especially important, if you have a history assignment. The second scheme allows your imagination to run free, as it deals with ordering paragraphs by topic. The choice of the thematic paragraphs also depends on the thesis statement and its purpose.
- Conclusion. This is basically summing up what you have already said, and providing your readers with reasonable arguments to confirm your theory. You may repeat what was said previously, or use the main idea of the paper to illustrate the discourse. Generally, conclusion is needed to analyze the research and reiterate the material.
Literature review and evidence
Do not be afraid to use quotations if you have a literature assignment that needs to be done overnight. You can support your words with the professional opinion, and your teacher would be delighted by the use of an assumption, based on the works of famous authors. Remember, however, to transform the sentences into your own words, or you might be accused of plagiarism.
You should also use the quotes sparingly if it is a literature review that demands your point of view.
You can, of course, rely on the classics, but in some ways, it is better to be creative and compose the paper in the unique and authentic style. We often forget about the importance of being a researcher, which means you have to base your thoughts on prior findings, but be open to new solutions whenever an opportunity presents itself. Literature review is a survey by form, and surveys do not presuppose excessive quoting when there is no need for it. Be careful with the material you have as well: library assistants are your best friends most of the time.