► Communicate to your reader what information and ideas have been established on a topic
► Explain what the strengths and weaknesses of that information and those ideas might be
► Establish context for the argument explored in the rest of your research
► Keep up-to-date with current developments on a topic or discipline
A literature review is a central part of any research project, as it sets your research in context and identifies how it fits with the research that has already been done. You may be asked to write a literature review as part of a thesis, dissertation, or longer project, or as a separate assignment to progress the research.
The main purpose of the literature review is to demonstrate why the researcher’s study is necessary.
Essentially it is a "re" view or "look again" at what has already been written about your research topic.
Checkout some recent Masters or PhD theses related to your research in Research@THEA (the IoT’s digital repository). Read the literature review chapter - has the author been successful in providing a clear synthesis of past research?
► You have an in-depth grasp of your topic
► You understand where your own research fits into and adds to an existing body of knowledge
► Your literature searching abilities
► You can critical appraise information to judge its trustworthiness, value and relevance
► You have learnt from others
► Your research is a starting point for new ideas
► A comprehensive alphabetical list of every work referred to in your research, or a list of references cited
► A literary review describing and evaluating specific books, articles etc.
► A annotated bibliography listing references and adding brief notes about the significance of each source