Engaging in intensive research requires the inclusion of a literature review in the final report. Basically, literature reviews do not strictly follow the general essay structure. In turn, distinguishing a literature review from other types of works requires a clear understanding of its definition and the unique features in its structure.
Definition of a Literature Review
The primary goals of the different types of papers impact the definition of a literature review. Firstly, a review surveys the existing studies that are relevant to the topic of interest. This survey is useful because it illustrates a researcher’s knowledge of existing studies. Also, this feature provides the project with some sense of credibility. Secondly, it synthesizes the identified previous studies into a succinct summary. The main theories or ideas are highlighted with much evidence to give the readers a deep understanding of the topic. Finally, the review presents a critical analysis by pointing out the limitations of certain lines of thought and addressing controversial aspects of the topic. The analysis yields the gaps by using literary analysis. Therefore, a literature review may be defined as the systematic presentation of existing information that establishes the foundation of the current study by defining its start point.
Format of Literature Reviews
A literature review employs a slightly different format for its introduction. Basically, the introduction describes the context of the topic and mentions the reasons for the review. It also highlights the organization of ideas and precisely defines the scope of the review. In turn, people do not write a thesis statement in literature reviews. Moreover, there is no argument from the author within the introduction. Hence, the scope of the review and reasons for undertaking the review play a relatively similar role as a thesis statement in a traditional essay.
Creating the body of a literature review covers a slightly distinct approach. In particular, the presentation of information moves from a broad perspective on the topic to a narrowly focused perspective associated with the current study. The body in the essay on topic is typically restricted to a narrow scope from the beginning to the end of the section. It is because the supporting evidence is arranged based on a decreasing hierarchy of importance. Conversely, the review begins with a broad discussion on the fundamental theories in the topic. Also, it narrows to the outcome of studies that focus on the same or closely associated issues. People investigate their themes in the proposed study.
Final Part in a Literature Review
The conclusion of a literature review does not conform to traditional content restrictions. In this case, the conclusion focuses on defining the gaps in knowledge and linking the current study with the existing body of literature. Essentially, the aim of the conclusion forces people to introduce new information based on findings. Despite this variation from the rules of concluding an essay, the review’s conclusion is relevant. In turn, another section of the more substantial work, for example, the introduction section in a dissertation, research paper, or thesis paper, address the specifics of the proposed study.
A literature review demonstrates the researcher’s understanding of the research topic. Additionally, it outlines the extent to which other researchers have studied the topic. However, there are some inconsistencies in the content of the individual sections of the traditional essay structure, research paper outline, or research paper outline template.