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For professionals, they are useful reports that keep them up to date with what is current in the field.For scholars, the depth and breadth of the literature review emphasizes the credibility of the writer in his or her field.It might give a new interpretation of old material or combine new with old interpretations.
This handout will explain what literature reviews are and offer insights into the form and construction of literature reviews in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. A literature review discusses published information in a particular subject area, and sometimes information in a particular subject area within a certain time period.
You dust off a novel and a book of poetry, settle down in your chair, and get ready to issue a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” as you leaf through the pages. And a review does not necessarily mean that your reader wants you to give your personal opinion on whether or not you liked these sources.
Literature reviews provide you with a handy guide to a particular topic.
If you have limited time to conduct research, literature reviews can give you an overview or act as a stepping stone.
“Literature” could be anything from a set of government pamphlets on British colonial methods in Africa to scholarly articles on the treatment of a torn ACL.
The “literature” of a literature review refers to any collection of materials on a topic, not necessarily the great literary texts of the world.
The bibliography or reference section of sources you’ve already read are also excellent entry points into your own research.
There are hundreds or even thousands of articles and books on most areas of study.
In a research paper, you use the literature as a foundation and as support for a new insight that you contribute.
The focus of a literature review, however, is to summarize and synthesize the arguments and ideas of others without adding new contributions.