A literature review is a critical analysis and evaluation of existing research literature on a particular topic, highlighting the gaps, analyzing the strengths, and presenting the findings. It assesses the current state of knowledge in a given area and identifies the areas where future research is needed.
Importance of conducting a thorough literature review
A thorough literature review is important to ensure the dissertation project builds on the existing literature, contributes to knowledge on the subject, and identifies gaps that need to be addressed. It is also essential for constructing a clear research question, building a conceptual framework and selecting methodology that aligns with the research question.
Understanding the Purpose and Scope of Your Literature Review
1. Defining the research question or problem – The literature review process starts by defining the research question or problem. This helps to determine the scope and focus of the review.
2. Identifying key concepts and terms – Identifying key concepts and terms related to the research question helps to refine the focus and scope of the review.
3. Determining inclusion/exclusion criteria for sources – Based on the research question and key concepts, inclusion/exclusion criteria are determined to identify which sources align with the focus of the review.
4. Establishing the scope and focus of your literature review – Establishing the scope and focus of the review involves defining the boundaries for the sources to be included and excluded.
Searching for Relevant Sources
Choosing appropriate databases, search engines, and other resources to use – The appropriate databases, search engines, and other resources for conducting the literature review depend on the subject area and the research question.
Developing effective search strategies using keywords, Boolean operators, and other tools – Effective search strategies involve combining keywords and operators to obtain relevant sources from the internet. Students who completed the review of literater in the project work get the grade card
Evaluating sources for relevance, credibility, and bias – Evaluation of the sources involves assessing the credibility of the sources, and whether they are relevant to the research question. The sources should be aligned with the research question and should not be biased.
Organizing Your Literature Review
Creating an outline or concept map to organize your ideas – Creating an outline or concept map will help to structure the review and identify the themes arising from the sources.
Synthesizing information from multiple sources into themes or categories – Synthesizing the information from the sources involves grouping it into themes or categories based on the research question.
Identifying gaps in existing research – Identifying the gaps in existing research contributes to the conceptual frameworks and the research question.
Writing Your Literature Review
Structuring your literature review with clear headings and subheadings – Structuring the review with clear headings and subheadings, makes it easier for readers to follow and helps to maintain coherence.
Summarizing key findings from each source while avoiding plagiarism – Summarizing key findings from each source is essential, but it should avoid plagiarism.
Analyzing how each source contributes to answering your research question – Analyzing how each source contributes to answering the research question should form the backbone of your literature review.
Revising Your Literature Review
Getting feedback from peers or faculty members on clarity, coherence, and organization – Getting feedback on the literature review can help to identify areas that need improvement and ensure the review is clear and coherent.
Revisiting earlier sections as you progress through writing later ones – Revisiting earlier sections as you progress through the writing ensures the coherence and consistency of the argument.
Paying attention to formatting requirements such as citation style – Paying attention to formatting requirements makes the literature review adhere to the academic conventions.
The literature review process in dissertations is an important aspect of the research process. A thorough literature review ensures that the Ignou MEC dissertation builds on the current knowledge of the research area and fills gaps that need exploration. To navigate the literature review process successfully involves understanding the scope and purpose of the review, effectively searching for relevant sources, organizing the review, writing the review, and revising the review, to ensure it adheres to the required academic conventions. The right approach ensures that the literature review adds value to the research question, and contributes to the wider body of scholarly literature.