Literature review is important

Literature review is important

A literature review is an important part of the research process. This process must produce academic products such as thesis, dissertations, and scientific articles for publication in journals. It is impossible to call it a thesis, dissertation if this part is missed. So special, the affairs of the study of literature are placed in a separate chapter by the people of the campus world. Why is its role so important? Yes, please imagine a thesis or dissertation, only there is no Chapter 2 – Literature Review. Can it be called a thesis or dissertation? Please try to remove Chapter 2 – Literature Review in your thesis and dissertation to your supervisor or promoter, it is certain that the supervisor or promoter will consider it an activity report.

A literature review is not just a complement to the makeup of an academic product. The fact is that many students just poke around here and there and paste them in the literature review chapter like putting on makeup. Worse yet, I don’t know where the reference came from or the source of the reference because I’m used to using the copy & paste keyboard buttons. The literature review serves to determine the position of research among previous studies (research gap). And this will certainly help students in deciphering the novelty and state of the art from the research carried out.

A literature review or more commonly known as a literature review is a description of theories, findings, and other research materials obtained from reference materials to be used as the basis for research activities to develop a clear frame of mind from the formulation of the problem to be studied. A literature review is part of theses, theses, dissertations, articles that explore theories and concepts to support research hypotheses. Creswell (2012:80) asserts that A literature review is a written summary of journal articles, books, and other documents that describe the past and current state of information on the topic of your research study. It also organizes the literature into subtopics and documents the need for a proposed study.

Literature review must be distinguished from a book review. A literature review surveys scientific articles such as journals or proceedings papers, books, laws and regulations, and other sources such as thesis and dissertations related to certain issues or topics, research areas, or theories. The literature review provides exposure, conclusions, and critical evaluation of each survey material. Remember, a literature review contains reviews, summaries, and the author’s thoughts on several library sources (articles, books, slides, information from the internet, etc.) A good literature review must be relevant, current, and adequate. Theoretical foundations, theoretical reviews, and literature reviews are some of the ways to conduct a literature review. For more details, the following describes the purpose of the literature review: a) To describe the relationship of each writing material with one another related to the topic of writing; b) Identify new ways of translating and narrowing the gaps in previous studies; c) Resolve conflicts between contradictory previous studies; d) Identify areas to prevent plagiarism; e) Guiding further steps for further research, and f) Placing original work in the context of the existing literature.

In addition to having the objectives as described above, literature review in scientific articles has the following functions: a) Forming a theoretical framework for the topic/field of research; b) Explain definitions, keywords, and terminology; c) Determine studies, models, case studies that support the topic; d) Determine the scope of research; e) Demonstrate that the author understands the research area and knows the main research issues and that the researcher has the appropriate competence, ability, and background for his research; f) Demonstrate continuity with previous research and how it relates to current research; g) Integrate and conclude what is known in the research area, and h) Learn from others and stimulate new ideas.

Then the question that often arises is how do you write a good literature review? Check the following elements:

  1. Introduction to the subject/discussion/issue or theory being discussed by the objectives of the literature review.
  2. The division of the writing material being reviewed into several categories (e.g. writings that support the issue or oppose the issue or offer alternative solutions).
  3. An explanation of how the writing materials being reviewed have similarities or differences between them.
  4. Conclusions from those who wrote the most important part of each written material that most convinced the opinion of the written material and which contributed the most to the understanding and development of the research area.

According to Creswell (2012:81), there are five steps in compiling a literature review. The five steps are: a) Identify key terms to use in your search for literature; b) Locate literature about a topic by consulting several types of materials and databases, including those available at an academic library and on the Internet; c) Critically evaluate and select the literature for your review; d) Organize the literature you have selected by abstracting or taking notes on the literature and developing a visual diagram of it, and e) Write a literature review that reports summaries of the literature for inclusion in your research report.

When compiling a literature review, the researcher should consider the following in each assessment of the written material: a) Information related to the written material – Who is the author’s name, is the author’s argument supported by evidence such as historical material, case studies, presentations, statistics or findings the latest scientific?; b) Objectivity – is the writing perspective prejudicial or balanced? is contradictory data used or is relevant information omitted to prove the points written?; c) How to Convince – What answer or explanation gives the most confidence or vice versa from the written material being assessed?; and d) Value – are the written arguments and conclusions convincing enough? whether the written material contributes to the understanding of the topics discussed significantly.

In the end, the quality of a study lies in how capable the researcher is in compiling a literature review properly and correctly. Literature studies give more meaning to the products of thesis and dissertations and other scientific papers. Hopefully, this article is useful for the Academic@Life readers.

Nurturing knowledge for academic life

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