How to Write A Literature Review Your Teacher Will Accept

How to write a literature review your teacher will consider? We will provide you with instructions that will allow you to create an effective review on any topic. You will find out how to structure a literature review and choose the correct literature review format. Moreover, we will give you a hint on literature review types and an excellent literature review template to look over and understand the critical points. Read and be calm about your papers, as we are here to help you out.

what is a literature review

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What is a literature review?

This type of academic paper is a way to expose how the student understands the particular issue and subject. When writing this kind of paper, you represent your ability to evaluate information. Literature reviews usually contain elements of critical analysis as well. You need to separate the literature review from other types of papers, such as a literature report, which does not assume a critical evaluation of the subject. You can get a task to create a literature review as a separate paper or as a part of a research paper, dissertation, or thesis.

The goals of writing a literature review

Here are fundamental reasons why students have to write literature reviews:

  • Critical thinking development.
  • Digging deeper into the investigated area and getting to understand the aspects of researching problematics better.
  • If you write a literature review to define your future research’s actuality, it will help you ensure that the problematics were not investigated before.
  • Updating your knowledge on the current state of researches on the given topic.
  • To find out there are problems that need to be researched.
  • Developing your skills to evaluate, analyze, and synthesize significant amounts of data.
  • To give your audience a clear understanding of your research’s insights and contribution to existing research in the particular area.

How to write a literature review

Below, we will provide the essentials on creating a literature review. Read them properly and look over the literature review example we offer to get a clear picture of the main peculiarities of a good literature review.

Start with a topic

Make sure the subject you will evaluate and analyze in your literature review is familiar for you, as you require showing your level of acknowledgment of the discipline. Moreover, you need to dig deeper, evaluate, and analyze the literature on the chosen topic.

Research the literature

The central part of preparing for writing a literature review is gathering and systemizing sources. Note that the type and variability of available literature will define the type and the approach to structuring your review.

Depending on the discipline and the area you investigate, the literature will vary. You can find needed information in databases, thesis papers, dissertation abstracts, books, magazines, and other relevant sources. Look for the hints in the instruction from your supervisor.

Moreover, the quality of your literature review will depend on the quality of your research. Apply the following methods to get the most of the sources you have:

  • Proceed with the reading of the annotation or the abstract first. It would economize your time and help to familiarize yourself with the subject.
  • Go through the table of contents. You’ll get an understanding of the core ideas presented in the source.
  • Remember and write down all the core concepts and exciting ideas.
  • Write down all the core points you find crucial for this particular source and evaluate them briefly.
  • Find the reference list and analyze which sources from the list can be useful for your review.

Literature review outline

As usual, you have to use a stable structure in a literature review outline that consists of an introduction, main body, and conclusion.

The introduction contains statements on the subject and thesis that you recognize working. For a literature review that is a stand-alone task, it is crucial to represent how you choose the sources you discuss in the paper. For papers that are a part of a thesis, this requirement is not essential.

The body of a literature review must contain such crucial sections as:

  1. A summary of gathered data and points. Your goal would be to gather all the relevant sources’ opinions and statements, making them whole. The process of summarizing will result in synthesized data.
  2. An interpretation of the gathered data. Your aim is not to rewrite the information that other writers present. Instead, present your unique points and statements related to the subject. Analyze and discuss all the data you collected.
  3. An evaluation of all the sources that you have included in the research. The core point of a literature review is presenting the weak and substantial evidence and facts, defining each source.

A literature review conclusion has to sum up the findings exposing their value and significance in terms of a subject and topic. Do not forget to build a connection between the initial question and the main thesis of the review.

The structure of a literature review

It is essential to organize each section of a literature review appropriately. The way you structure such papers defines the result. There are several approaches to manage a structure:

  • To make the literature review structure straightforward, present all the sources in chronological order. Such an approach to the sequence of structuring is the most widespread and practical.
  • Another way to structure your review is to define the represented sources’ most robust concepts and organize the chronology by moving from the general idea to the less significant ideas.
  • The funnel approach to organizing literature assumes that you begin with presenting the subject in general. After you move forward and add more facts step by step, focus on the main thesis.
  • The two topics approach is suitable for literature reviews as a part of a thesis that examines the relationships between two concepts or problems. In this case, you have to present the main thesis in an introduction, then the first topic, and after, the second topic. The closing part would conclude the main thesis.

Literature review types

Depending on the chosen pattern of your literature review, you would select a corresponding literature review format and type. Here are several of the most common and effective types:

1) Theoretical review. Choose a key concept or a theory in the investigated area and discuss it. It is better to combine several approaches to critical concepts and evaluate them.
2) Thematic review. This type will work for papers that are a part of dissertations or research papers. The approach would be to narrow the wide thematic that is evaluating and dig deeper into it.
3) Chronological review. Choose a broad topic so that you can trace how the subject changed through time. Be sure to evaluate and analyze data. In another way, the review will turn into a narrative essay. Try to find the reasons that influence the particular model of the genesis of your review problematics.
4) Methodological review. Depending on the area of study and the discipline, you might write this type of literature review. By evaluating a selection of approaches to research the area, you could define the most effective one.

A short literature review example for you to look over

The Difference Between Jungian and Freudian Approaches in Psychology

Being close in their beliefs, two monumental and influential figures in psychological science, Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud, both had a titanic impact on our minds. Some researchers find many commonalities in Jung’s analytical psychology and Freudian psychoanalysis; however, these two theories are different in many aspects. Freud believed that the behavior of people is defined by their libido and ways to expose sexuality. However, the theories of Jung were focused more on inner growth. For example, Jung did not share the significance of the Oedipus complex, believing that the libido is more about life energy in general.

In his “Psychology of the Unconscious” (1912), Jung declares the divergence between his studies and the ideas of Freud. That work was significant in forming the basics of Analytical Psychology, exposing three parts of the human mind: the ego, the personal unconscious, and the collective unconscious. The collective unconscious, according to Jung, defines the knowledge and beliefs that people are born with.

In his “The Ego and the Id” (1923), Freud also pronounced the belief that the human mind is divided into three parts, but in opposite to Jung, declared that they are the id, the ego, and the superego. The core distinction is that the id is driven by unconscious, mainly sexual instincts and aggression. The superego, in turn, is a mediator of the id behavior.

Later works of both psychologists narrow their beliefs and underline their significance. The fundamentals of Freudian psychoanalysis concepts of the mind’s structure relate to his basic approach, and the basics of Jung’s analytical psychology are widened in his later works.

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