The literature review is a backbone of any research. You will never stop exploring and reading your literature until you submit your dissertation/ thesis. Literature review refers to the review of past studies. It is a back and forth process. You use literature review not only for looking for gaps, but also to justify and to seek for appropriate methods in your research work.
The purpose of the literature review is to provide the theoretical underpinning about our research background or our research area. It also helps us to define our area of study in our research? Literature review will help you to get an overview of what literature (past studies) say about your topic. From literature review, you can see how your study evolves and these will demonstrate the understanding of theory and method in your area. We also refer to literature review when we want to justify our arguments, to support our findings and to find the best appropriate method for our data collection and data analysis.
Bear in mind, that literature review is not just reporting what's been said in previous studies. It is not a repetition of article, book or report. You cannot just extract whatever statement that you think important to your study without your comment. And literature review is not a list of quotations or summarised abstract from previous articles that you read. Whatever you report must come with a package of ‘so what’ question. This is where your critical thinking comes in
How do we develop our own critical thinking? We develop our own critical knowledge through critical reading. Critical reading here refer to active reading and active questioning of so what. It it always require a critical and questioning attitude by the researcher. The key questions that you may use when you read critically are ‘how?’ ‘why?’ ‘to what effect?’ and ‘so what?’
Basically, there are four major steps in literature review namely search, identify, read and synthesize. Make sure you also know the terms that exist in doing literature review. See below:
Nor Aida Abdul Rahman (NAAR)
What shall I say....