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Staff and students in your area can be good sources of ideas about where to look for relevant literature.They may already have copies of articles that you can work with.
The purpose of writing a literature review is to establish your authority in your research.
Without that established credibility, your research findings are dismissed as nothing but your opinions founded on some basic methodologies.
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.
Remember that just having read a dissertation or conference paper doesn’t count – you must critique it – what worked, what didn’t, what would you do differently?
Your reader should reach the end of your literature review with a sense of full comprehension as to how your proposed study fits together with the current body of published work: If your reader can’t figure out what you’re doing in relation to what has come before you, your literature review has failed both as a stand-alone piece of academic work and as a building block for your overall study.
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.
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.