Literature Review

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This article refers to the Literature Review as an independent activity and as a part of a research thesis.

Independent Literature Review

An Independent Literature Review is summary of relevant research findings that relate to a research topic. An excellent summary of how to perform an independent literature review is documented in the following .pdf file:

Univeristy of Washington Psychology Department Guide to Literature Review

Literature Review (as part of a research thesis)

An Literature Review is also a section of a research thesis, commonly placed after the Introduction, and prior to the Methodology sections. It contains a summary of relevant research findings that relate to the research topic of the thesis.

The section is intended to demonstrate to the reader/examiner that the author is familiar with issues and debates in the field of the pertinent research. Typically this is the thesis section where the most citations of others' research occur.

The literature review is meant to show readers how the author incorporates the existing body of work/research into the thesis, and how the thesis fits into the established research and/or theories in the field.

Method for Writing a Literature Review

Generating a literature review for a thesis can be divided into four steps.

(1) Problem Formulation. First, topic of field that will be examined is chosen.

(2) Literature Search. Literature and documentation that are relevant to the topic are identified.

(3) Data Evaluation. A determination is made to select what literature is most relevant to the topic.

(4) Analysis. The relevant literature is analyzed, and the conclusions that can be drawn from the literature are examined.

(5) Application. It is shown how the conclusions from the relevant literature lead to the formation of the theis topic.

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