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Dissertations - Research Proposals - Theses
Literature Review ||
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The Literature Review is a thorough summary of the recognized facts and information in academic literature about a given subject. Most cited sources in a dissertation or thesis are listed in the Literature Review. The student must locate previous research studies (usually found in professional journal articles) that have contributed to the field in a manner similar to what his or her own thesis or dissertation proposes. If little academic writing exists on a given subject, composing the Literature Review will be a very difficult task. The standard Literature Review should:
- justify the reason for the student's research. The student must convince the reader that his or her research is important and beneficial.
- allow the student to establish his or her theoretical framework and methodological focus. The Literature Review often becomes the basis for the entire thesis or dissertation.
- summarize each piece of literature in a few sentences and identify the approach taken by each author.
- evaluate the approach of each author and put it into a context.
- explain why each piece of literature was chosen as reference material for the dissertation or thesis.
- demonstrate the student's knowledge of the field. The student should not merely report what he or she has read. Instead, the student must show that he or she has a thorough, deep connection to the area of study; knows what the most important issues are and their relevance to his or her investigation; understands the controversies; recognizes what has been neglected; knows where previous studies have gone and anticipates where the field will go as a result of his or her study.