College often entails plenty of academic writing, something that most students dislike. It primarily stems from the extended period students have to sit and work on projects besides the immense effort required to research and write. Add to all these other student commitments, and the anticipation and zeal at the prospect of an academic paper diminish. One key aspect of any college paper entails the literature review section. It requires plenty of research and time to get it right, and therefore, it comes as no surprise to find it equally disliked by students.
Literature review writing can seem an excruciating and complex undertaking when you first start. However, with writing academic papers, the process becomes more enjoyable and less stressful because of the writing skills gained. So what can you do when you lack clear ideas on writing your literature review section?
Writing Your College Paper’s Literature Review
Before you understand the steps required to develop an excellent literature review, you need to comprehend what literature review means. Firstly, it functions as a preamble to the dissertation or research paper. Literature review always needs extensive research besides the analysis of various scholarly sources related to the study topic. Such a section in a research paper summarizes relevant and weighty publications concerning the subject under investigation. Therefore, it summarizes recent knowledge and outlook on the study issue besides offering a practical evaluation of the accessible sources. So how can your draft your literature review section? What fundamental aspects should you consider?
Guidelines to Drafting Your Literature Review
Everything can fall apart if a student gets the literature review drafting wrong. Literature review forms the backbone of your research paper and lends credence to everything you use to back your research claim. Therefore, try your best and ensure that you capture every crucial aspect required to develop an excellent literature review draft, and below some of these guidelines.
- Define your objectives. All academic papers require a proper definition of the objectives set. Therefore, ensure that you clearly define your research goals before embarking on the literature review writing process. It entails taking a firm stand on the subject and crafting a thesis statement that proves arguable. Additionally, another essential part entails stating your research project’s objectives clearly. Ensure that the whole literature review segment gets tied to your main argument in the piece.
- Conduct research. It becomes important to take a position before defining your study’s objective. After this, go ahead and collect all the relevant sources related to your research position and question. Ensure that every publication selected for review proves scholarly and recent. Additionally, it also becomes pivotal to identify relevant and influential scholars in your subject area before getting familiarized with their prominent publications related to your subject.
- Base your review work on relevance. When you complete the selection process for the sources to review, it becomes crucial to proceed and summarize the publications thoroughly and carefully. Ensure that you provide context for every source and its significance or contribution to your subject. Anchor the publication’s key point to your project objectives, position, and hypothesis. Illustrate to your audience the relevance and weight of each source to the discussion.
- Make it logical and coherent. Most students make the typical mistake of compiling their literature review as they would in an annotated bibliography. It becomes crucial to remember that as much as the literature review comprises a broader study, it also represents a complete academic paper and has to be compiled appropriately. However, to make the section coherent and logical, try and arrange it in a manner that represents the development of your argument.
- Include bibliography. You can also decide to incorporate the compiled citation list at the tail end of the paper as much as you will not mention the author and publication names in the text. However, adhere to a citation style rule and offer an all-inclusive citation.
- Proofread. Set your completed literature review aside and come back to edit and proofread after some time. Check aspects such as logical fallacies, style, grammar, punctuation and spelling errors, etc.
If you want to write an excellent literature review, it could help determine the guidelines provided when doing your college paper.