What is a review of literature?
The format of a review of literature may vary from discipline to discipline and from assignment to assignment. A review may be a self-contained unit -- an end in it -- or a preface to and rationale for engaging in primary research. A review is a required part of grant and research proposals and often a chapter in theses and dissertations. Generally, the purpose of a review is to analyze critically a segment of a published body of knowledge through summary, classification, and comparison of prior research studies, reviews of literature, and theoretical articles. Writing the introduction
Define or identify the general topic, issue, or area of concern, thus providing an appropriate context for reviewing the literature. Point out overall trends in what has been published about the topic; or conflicts in theory, methodology, evidence, and conclusions; or gaps in research and scholarship; or a single problem or new perspective of immediate interest. Establish the writer's reason (point of view) for reviewing the literature; explain the criteria to be used in analyzing and comparing literature and the organization of the review (sequence); and, when necessary, state why certain literature is or is not included (scope). Writing the body
Group research studies and other types of literature (reviews, theoretical articles, case studies, etc.) according to common denominators such as qualitative versus quantitative approaches, conclusions of authors, specific purpose or objective, chronology, etc. Summarize individual studies or articles with as much or as little detail as each merits according to its comparative importance in the literature, remembering that space (length) denotes significance. Provide the reader with strong "umbrella" sentences at beginnings of paragraphs, "signposts" throughout, and brief "so what" summary sentences at intermediate points in the review to aid in understanding comparisons and analyses.
Writing the conclusion
Summarize major contributions of significant studies and articles to the body of knowledge under review, maintaining the focus established in the introduction. Evaluate the current "state of the art" for the body of knowledge reviewed, pointing out major methodological flaws or gaps in research, inconsistencies in theory and findings, and areas or issues pertinent to future study. Conclude by providing some insight into the relationship between the central topic of the literature review and a larger area of study such as a discipline, a scientific endeavor, or a profession.
Data Collection is an important aspect of any type of research study. Inaccurate data collection can impact the results of a study and ultimately lead to invalid results. Data collection methods for impact evaluation vary along a continuum. At the one end of this continuum are quantitative methods and at the other end of the continuum are Qualitative methods for data collection. Quantitative and Qualitative Data collection methods
The Quantitative data collection methods rely on random sampling and structured data collection instruments that fit diverse experiences into predetermined response categories. They produce results that are easy to summarize, compare, and generalize.
Quantitative research is concerned with testing hypotheses derived from theory and/or being able to estimate the size of a phenomenon of interest. Depending on the research question, participants may be randomly assigned to different treatments. If this is not feasible, the researcher may collect data on participant and situational characteristics in order to statistically control for their influence on the dependent, or outcome, variable. If the intent is to generalize from the research participants to a larger population, the researcher will employ probability sampling to select participants. Typical quantitative data gathering strategies include:
References: you only list items you have actually cited in your paper. In a "Bibliography" you list all of the material you may have consulted in preparing your essay, whether or not you have actually cited the work. A "Bibliography" may include any sources related to the topic of the research paper. The list of all citations is commonly organized in a single alphabetical list. Each different type of source--book, magazine article, journal article, newspaper article, article from a reference book, World Wide Web page--has a precise format that is specified by the given format (MLA, APA or other).
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