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A literature review: To some extent, particularly with postgraduate research, the literature review can become a project in itself.It is an important showcase of your talents of: understanding, interpretation, analysis, clarity of thought, synthesis, and development of argument.
Some people, though, find it when they are just starting out as students at VCU.
If that describes you, the following guides may be helpful.
It is not just a descriptive list of the material available, or a set of summaries Besides enlarging your knowledge about the topic, writing a literature review lets you gain and demonstrate skills in two areas A literature review is a piece of discursive prose, not a list describing or summarizing one piece of literature after another.
It’s usually a bad sign to see every paragraph beginning with the name of a researcher.
Instead, organize the literature review into sections that present themes or identify trends, including relevant theory.
You are not trying to list all the material published, but to synthesize and evaluate it according to the guiding concept of your thesis or research question" (Taylor, D.
Related Study Guides are: Referencing and bibliographies, Avoiding plagiarism, Writing a dissertation, What is critical reading? The focus of the Study Guide is the literature review within a dissertation or a thesis, but many of the ideas are transferable to other kinds of writing, such as an extended essay, or a report.
The ability to review, and to report on relevant literature is a key academic skill.
VCU's Writing Center consultants can help you plan, develop, and organize your literature review and a follow-up appointment will help you edit, proofread, and revise it.
VCU University College Writing Center Many patrons who find this guide have experience with research.