Filling the Research Gap Through Literature Review

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The process of research involves framing queries which need to be investigated and delved into. This involves looking for gaps or missing areas through literature review. In doing so, you as a scholar required to gauge the areas which are not covered by existing literature; or fields which are covered incompletely, inadequately or even in a manner.

For your literature review, there is a need to browse through literature available at libraries, internet, catalogues and databases. Look through books, journals, magazines, newspapers, pamphlets, brochures, previous relevant theses, audio and video recordings, movies, web sources et al. Once you have read through the existing literature, you will need to organize your reading and interpretation of it. You may that your reading of the literature is insufficient or incomplete.

This might require you to refine or modify your search so that the literature review corresponds with the precise question which you want to investigate. Your next task as a scholar is to expose the various loopholes in the literature.

As mentioned above, here are some of the following ways in which you can expose the gaps- literature is outdated or dated- in this case your research would be new and timely. Literature is incomplete- you may find that existing literature has looked at only some aspects of the question you are investigating but not all. In this case your research will be looking at the same issues from a new set of perspectives or dimensions. Another possible gap is that literature review has used only a certain branch of study or subject to understand an issue. Your research might be looking at the same issue but through the lens of other academic fields of study. For instance, a bulk of the literature might look at an issue through a historical perspective. Your perspective might be geographical or anthropological etc. In some cases you might even find that the literature review has been looking at a particular issue from an incorrect perspective which has led to convoluted findings. You as a researcher could argue that your research has led you to establish completely different findings, along radically or moderately different lines compared to existing research findings.

Your literature review is a crucial part of your research. Usually, scholars are required to dedicate a considerable amount of time to the literature review. Particularly, if you are investigating a relatively new field then you will find literature hard to come by and this might make you work more difficult.

Alternately, if you are looking at something which has already been explored extensively in the past, you will find an overload of information and material which you will have to go through in order to make sure your research review is completed and rounded. Thus try and avoid both extremes, choose something which has some moderate literature, so that you will be able to consolidate and boost your own findings. Make sure you have ample time in hand for literature review, which will be integral to your research.