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Literature Review

If a student needs to write a UG dissertation, they may be required to start by writing a literature review. A literature review can be defined as the process of searching for and evaluating the available literature on a particular subject or topic of interest. It documents the state of the art when it comes to the subject or the topic being written about. A literature review has the following main purposes:

  • It gives a deep insight into the literature in the chosen field of study
  • It inculcates the information in that literature in the form of a summary
  • It analyses the information gathered by the identification of gaps in current knowledge by showing the limitations of theories and POVs & by formulating the areas for further research
  • It helps in reviewing areas of controversy
  • It organizes ad presents the literature in an organized way

A literature review shows that the writer has an in-depth grasp of the subject; and helps in understanding where their research fits into, which adds an extra dimension to an existing body of agreed knowledge. Here is another way of describing these tasks. 

  • A literature review demonstrates a familiarity with a certain body of knowledge and establishes the writer’s credibility in the field
  • It summarises research that has been done prior to this and says how the project is linked to it, and how it integrates and summarizes what is known about the subject
  • It also demonstrates that the writer has learned from others and that their research is a starting point for potential new ideas.

Students have to usually write a literature review when writing a dissertation or thesis most commonly in the process of acquiring a doctorate.

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