The current status of the knowledge or research about a topic, question or experience A literature review is an opportunity to tell your story by carving a space for your topic and research question in relation to previous studies.In reporting your critical perspective on the relevant literature and identifying a gap that your research will attempt to address, it situates and establishes the importance of your topic or question within the broader academic community in your discipline or field of study: According to Walsh and Downe (2005), the systematic review "is a robust way of comparing quantitative research and proceeds according to well-determined steps, which include statistical analysis of the pooled results of studies.
This statistical analysis is more accurately called meta-analysis, although this phrase has become interchangeable with systematic review" (pp.
204-205): A systematic review: A traditional or narrative review summarizes different primary studies from which conclusions may be drawn into a holistic interpretation supplemented by the author's own experience, theories, and/or models: Whereas a meta-analysis is a way of testing a hypothesis, a meta-synthesis attempts to integrate results from a number of different but inter-related qualitative studies.
Argumentative Review This form examines literature selectively in order to support or refute an argument, deeply imbedded assumption, or philosophical problem already established in the literature.
The purpose is to develop a body of literature that establishes a contrarian viewpoint.
The unit of analysis can focus on a theoretical concept or a whole theory or framework. Problem formulation -- which topic or field is being examined and what are its component issues? Literature search -- finding materials relevant to the subject being explored. Data evaluation -- determining which literature makes a significant contribution to the understanding of the topic. Analysis and interpretation -- discussing the findings and conclusions of pertinent literature. What types of sources should I review (books, journal articles, websites; scholarly versus popular sources)? Should I summarize, synthesize, or critique sources by discussing a common theme or issue? Read them to get a sense of the types of themes you might want to look for in your own research or to identify ways to organize your final review.
If your assignment is not very specific about what form your literature review should take, seek clarification from your professor by asking these questions: 1. The bibliography or reference section of sources you've already read are also excellent entry points into your own research.The purpose is to place research in a historical context to show familiarity with state-of-the-art developments and to identify the likely directions for future research.Methodological Review A review does not always focus on what someone said [findings], but how they came about saying what they say [method of analysis].Given the value-laden nature of some social science research [e.g., educational reform; immigration control], argumentative approaches to analyzing the literature can be a legitimate and important form of discourse.However, note that they can also introduce problems of bias when they are used to make summary claims of the sort found in systematic reviews [see below].A literature review is a "comprehensive study and interpretation of literature that addresses a specific topic" (Aveyard, 2010).Literature reviews are generally conducted in one of two ways: 1) As a preliminary review before a larger study in order to critically evaluate the current literature and justify why further study and research is required.Historical Review Few things rest in isolation from historical precedent.Historical literature reviews focus on examining research throughout a period of time, often starting with the first time an issue, concept, theory, phenomena emerged in the literature, then tracing its evolution within the scholarship of a discipline.Reviewing methods of analysis provides a framework of understanding at different levels [i.e.those of theory, substantive fields, research approaches, and data collection and analysis techniques], how researchers draw upon a wide variety of knowledge ranging from the conceptual level to practical documents for use in fieldwork in the areas of ontological and epistemological consideration, quantitative and qualitative integration, sampling, interviewing, data collection, and data analysis.