When revising your own literature review, or a peer’s, it may be helpful to ask yourself the some of the following questions: The primary purpose of the literature review is to demonstrate why the author’s study is necessary.
Depending on the writer’s field, it may or may not be clear that research on a particular topic is necessary for advancing knowledge.
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Two common approaches to literature reviews are —grouping studies by subject or theme.
Along with deliberately choosing an overarching structure that fits the writer’s topic, the writer should assist readers by using headings, incorporating brief summaries throughout the review, and using language that explicitly names the scope of particular studies within the field of inquiry, the studies under review, and the domain of the writer’s own research.The following collection of annotated sample literature reviews written and co-written by colleagues associated with UW-Madison showcases how these reviews can do different kind of work for different purposes.Use these successful examples as a starting point for understanding how other writers have approached the challenging and important task of situating their idea in the context of established research.Conclude by providing some insight into the relationship between the central topic of the literature review and a larger area of study such as a discipline, a scientific endeavor, or a profession.For further information see our handouts on Writing a Critical Review of a Nonfiction Book or Article or Reading a Book to Review It.The format of a review of literature may vary from discipline to discipline and from assignment to assignment.A review may be a self-contained unit — an end in itself — or a preface to and rationale for engaging in primary research.This set of modules were designed by librarians at the University of Arizona Libraries to provide a foundation for graduate level library research.It addresses topics such as searching effectively, literature reviews, managing citations, information access policies, and copyright basics.This handout will provide some strategies for revising literature reviews.Because literature reviews convey so much information in a condensed space, it is crucial to organize your review in a way that helps readers make sense of the studies you are reporting on.