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Monday, December 05, 2011

How to Write a Literature Review in Final Project

Research@Intel Day: Exploratory ResearchImage by Josh Bancroft via Flickr
Literature Review/Related Information and Research Model

This section provides a summary of research already conducted on the topic. Its purpose is to convey to a reader the historical context of the topic, any trends experienced by the topic, and how theory on the topic has informed practice of the topic (and vice versa). However, a literature review is more than just an annotated study-by-study summary.

It is a well-organized, cohesive "essay" that flows smoothly in order to create a sound view of research and discover on the topic over time. In action research articles, this is also the section where you will likely find discussions of additional information gathering, or reconnaissance. You also provide dialogue about additional sources of information that helped to frame your action research study. You should focus on the description of the situation or problem, and explanation of why the problem has occurred and how the study will potentially address it.

 A good Literature Review

The literature review develops a relationship between academics and your research. Your task must be to show how the academic literature sheds light on your topic. The purpose of the literature review is to refine the statement of the research problem or question, not to offer a tutorial on the topic. Do not repeat large passages from a text.

A literature review must do the following:

  1. It should organized around and related directly to the
  2. Project/thesis or research question you are developing
  3. Synthesize results into a summary of what is and is not known
  4. Identify areas of controversy in the literatur
  5. Formulate questions that need further research/project
  6. Final Note
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