General Guidelines to Compose a Good Literature Review

When you are to prepare and submit an academic research paper, conducting a literature review is an essential part of the job, which just cannot be skipped or avoided. Generally, completing the task implies you have to list, analyze and summarize all the materials you have used to work on your academic paper. As for the sources, options are numerous and include websites, articles in magazines, research reports and many more. This means the task of composing a good literature review as a part of a bigger paper can be a quite daunting step. On the other hand, knowing how to organize the process with is an optimum way can help you receive a good result in the end.

Literature Review Basics

Perceive this part of your research paper as an extra opportunity to boast of the extensive job you have done to discuss the subject and come to practicable conclusions. Should a reader still has any questions or doubts upon reading your paper, this section is to refer them to original materials and points of view expressed by renowned industry experts to form their unbiased opinion in respect to your endeavor.
Generally, consider including the following into this section:

  • A list of all sources used (starting with those the most relevant to the subject);
  • Explanation of how combining different sources was helpful in your case;
  • Demonstration of your knowledge of each source and relevance of the latter;
  • Mistakes and inaccuracies, if any, which, in your opinion, have been made by previous researchers.

How Writing Should Go

Proper writing process organization is a key factor not only for the final success but also to make the job go seamlessly. Here are some points to keep in mind:

  • Define the topic. Being specific and detailed is the best approach to writing a literature review. This is why it is recommendable to narrow down the subject to be discussed. Select only a topic which is interesting to you personally; this would facilitate browsing potential sources significantly.
  • When processing sources found, use keywords to derive the most relevant information. Then evaluate the author’s attitude and compare it to your own. Rank all selected sources by relevance. Grouping by themes is a good idea too. Never include irrelevant references.
  • Basing your reasons on opposing opinions is a beneficial approach. It adds to your paper’s credibility.
  • Determine and describe methodology applied in a source used. This will show your readers you are really familiar with previous achievements in the domain discussed.
  • Make sure the writing style of your review is strictly academic. Avoid narrative and descriptive wordings.
  • Schedule your writing so that you have some time left in the end to re-read and improve the content as well as to correct any grammar mistakes.

An important part of any research paper, the literature review requires a well-thought and thorough approach. Nevertheless, knowing exactly how the job should be done can save you lots of time and efforts as well as secure a good result to impress your teacher.