Literature Review Writing

But you do need to explain why your study should be done at all, or at least why anyone should pay attention to your results.Even if you are attempting to replicate a previous study, and thus your research probably won’t differ much from previous research, provide a rationale for how and why the project will provide a necessary update to a classic study. You need to be sure to explain to your reader why you are writing about a particular study as you discuss them in a lit review. You also want to make sure to discuss previous research thematically.

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You might even find that your research doesn’t fit within sociology after reading other sociological studies, and belongs more within the fields of psychology or education, for instance.

Bottom line: a lit review shows that you have done your homework on the topic you are planning to study and have learned from other people’s work, which will inform your own study.

How are the other studies related to your own research? Maybe there are a handful that explores one part of the issue you are hoping to study, and another group that addresses another.

Talk about these studies together and cite them all parenthetically at the end of the sentence (Study 1, Year; Study 2, Year; Study 3, Year, etc.).

A lit review isn’t about condemning others to prop up our own work.

A good lit review can be both engaging and informative.

In this post, I’ll break down the steps you should take to write an informative—and dare I say interesting—lit review.

First, let’s go over why lit reviews are important.

Research should never be done in a vacuum and should always be informed by previous studies.

Maybe there are several similar studies that have been done on your topic. The previous studies might have taken place a long time ago and you are wondering if the results will be similar.


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