Purpose of Literature Review During Phd Research

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In order submit a successful PhD dissertation; it is important for you to include a good literature review as part of your dissertation.

When you set about writing a research piece, much of what you write will be based on and rooted in the work of others. Also as a researcher, you will be looking to write on a topic on which sufficient data exists and which has some work already done on it. Literature review consists of doing a broad reading of the work that exists on your topic. You are expected to be familiar with the work that has already been done on your topic.

Of course, it is not possible to read every word that has been written on your area of research interest, but you must have an idea of the main writings on your subject. In your literature review, you are expected to not just cite works, but also mention the key ideas in these works and how these are relevant to your area of research. You may single out authors for mention if their ideas have been useful for your research. Similarly, you can also offer a criticism of a certain work if you feel the ideas mentioned in that particular work are redundant, misleading or incomplete.

Many students make the mistake of writing the literature review section once a bulk of their research is already done. Research implies following a certain process; a structured procedure in which you are expected to follow a certain number of steps in a particular order.

Literature review is meant to take place fairly early in your research trajectory. Also, you have to allot a fair amount of time to your literature review, so that you can methodically go over the main works in your area. Your literature review can include not just books and journals, but other forms of media and publications such as newspapers, magazines, pamphlets, brochures etc. You can also refer to web sources and web-based journals.

The main purpose of the literature review is to show that you are familiar with your predecessor’s works on your area of research. Through the literature review, you can demonstrate how your ideas or what your research is attempting is different from previous research on the same subject. An extensive literature review is a sign of a diligent researcher. It is necessary for you to include a comprehensive literature review to. You may think of an idea and cite it as your own. However, if this idea has already been researched in the past, then you ought to know about and give credit to the researcher.

As a scholar looking into a research area, you would like your work to state something original. Hence to come up with original hypotheses you are required to read extensively on your subject, so that you have a fair idea of the work that has been done till date in your area. Thus your literature review is an indispensible component of your dissertation.