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Literature Reviews: Introduction
A literature review.
- Shares experts various thoughts, ideas and viewpoints about a topic within your field
- Summarizes arguments from various sources pointing out strengths and weaknesses of their arguments
- Sources may contradict each other
- Presents a single thought, idea or argument about a topic
- Explains or argues an idea using research that supports a single conclusion
- Sources used generally support each other
An annotated bibliography.
- Lists citations to books, articles, and documents with each citation followed by a brief descriptive and evaluative paragraph. See Purdue OWL for further information.
What is it That You Review?
- The current status of the knowledge or research about a topic, question or field
- The theoretical approach(es) used in studying this particular topic or question
- The data collection tools and procedures used and their implications on the body of knowledge
- The future direction(s) on a topic in terms of theory, methodology, questions for further study, and so on
Types of Literature Reviews
Traditional or narrative literature review
- Critiques and summarizes a body of literature
- Draws conclusions about the topic
- Identifies gaps or inconsistencies in a body of knowledge
- Requires a sufficiently focused research question
Systematic literature review
- More rigorous and well-defined approach
- Published and unpublished studies relating to a particular subject area
- Details the time frame within which the literature was selected
- Details the methods used to evaluate and synthesize findings of the studies in question
- A form of systematic review (reductive)
- Takes findings from several studies on the same subject and analyzes them using standardized statistical procedures
- Integrates findings from a large body of quantitative findings to enhance under-standing (study=unit of analysis)
- Draws conclusions and detect patterns and relationships