Creating A Research Paper Literature Review In 5 Steps

If you are tasked with creating a literature review for your research paper there are many things you can do to make sure that you get the project done and done well.

  1. The first thing you can do is check your requirements. This means look over the assignment details provided by your teacher. Not every research paper is the same and therefore not every literature review will be the same. If you want to write the most effective literature review in a recent paper you should make sure that you know exactly what is expected of you by your teacher.
  2. The second thing you should do is to refine your topic so that you can locate the most appropriate literature which is most relevant to your project. Try to narrow down the research that you want to the things which are most applicable to your particular assignment. This means that you may reconsider the little piece of literature from the 1980s if you are trying to focus on a paper about the 1990s or present day.
  3. The third thing you should do is to take time to thoroughly read each piece that you have. Before you select a source look over the abstract. The abstract is there for a reason and it is intended to give you a better idea about what is contained in that paper. If you thoroughly look at the abstract you can see whether or not it applies to your overall thesis. If it does you can Set it aside is something you want to review in more detail at a later date.
  4. The fourth thing you should do is organize your thoughts. Be sure to highlight key ideas that you want present and avoid simply regurgitating a list of information or summaries and instead integrate a high-level of organization which supports your thesis.
  5. The fifth thing you want to do is make sure to look at samples so you know what is expected of you. And of course, remember that anything you delete in the process of editing and revising should not be permanently deleted but instead should be cut and pasted into a separate document so that if you find later on that you want to bring it back and put it in another place, you can do so.

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