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Your interpretation may be self-evident to you, but it may not be to everyone else.
Guidance will be available via your own department or school and via the relevant Information Librarian.
There may also be key sources of publications for your subject that are accessible electronically, such as collections of policy documents, standards, archive material, videos, and audio-recordings.
This Study Guide explains why literature reviews are needed, and how they can be conducted and reported.
Related Study Guides are: Referencing and bibliographies, Avoiding plagiarism, Writing a dissertation, What is critical reading? The focus of the Study Guide is the literature review within a dissertation or a thesis, but many of the ideas are transferable to other kinds of writing, such as an extended essay, or a report.
It can also establish a framework within which to present and analyse the findings.
After reading your literature review, it should be clear to the reader that you have up-to-date awareness of the relevant work of others, and that the research question you are asking is relevant. Be wary of saying that your research will solve a problem, or that it will change practice.The term ‘synthesis’ refers to the bringing together of material from different sources, and the creation of an integrated whole.In this case the ‘whole’ will be your structured review of relevant work, and your coherent argument for the study that you are doing.There are three stages at which a review of the literature is needed: This applies especially to people doing Ph Ds on a part-time basis, where their research might extend over six or more years.You need to be able to demonstrate that you are aware of current issues and research, and to show how your research is relevant within a changing context.It would be safer and probably more realistic to say that your research will ‘address a gap’, rather than that it will ‘fill a gap’.When readers come to your assignment, dissertation, or thesis, they will not just assume that your research or analysis is a good idea; they will want to be persuaded that it is relevant and that it was worth doing.With small-scale writing projects, the literature review is likely to be done just once; probably before the writing begins.With longer projects such as a dissertation for a Masters degree, and certainly with a Ph D, the literature review process will be more extended.They will ask questions such as: These are questions that you will already probably be asking yourself.You will also need to be ready to answer them in a viva if you will be having one. are particularly relevant to the process of critical review.