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Are you unsure about how to write your literature review?  You can avoid confusion by creating an outline. An outline provides a general description of your paper’s contents. It allows you to plan and organize your analysis and writing.
Before setting out on your literature review, it is important to understand its importance to academia. This highlights the status of knowledge in a subject. Students often confuse it with a book review, which is an analysis of publication’s readability and value. Though when involving literature it goes a step further: it surveys the evolution of knowledge in the context of a research problem. To achieve this, the writer takes readers on a tour of old and new studies, pointing out their relevance to the subject.
We’ll discuss the elements that make up your review below:

Section A: Introduction
Analysis begins with an introduction. This section describes your topic. It discusses its importance to academia, it may also include a brief discussion of your objectives. In the introduction section, you provide a general overview of the research topic. You can also identify trending themes and outline some research questions.

Section B: Body
This section evaluates themes currently used. You can organize your review chronologically, thematically, or methodologically.

Chronological format

By publication date
Using a chronological, approach, works of literature are organized according to the date of publication. This structure should be adopted if the chronology of literature represents a relevant trend. For example, a review of metallurgy research would be organized in chronological format if the practice exhibited evolution over time.

By trends
Another way to organize chronological works is to organize eras in the development of literature. The review would categorize knowledge into distinct chronological periods. These would represent trends in the development of the analyzed literature. For a review on metallurgy, the reviewer would organize his work to cover eras such as the early 19th century, the late twentieth century, and the carbon dating era.

Thematic Format
Using themes to organize your review means that you structure your content around subtopics. Each subsection focuses on the development of issues within your topic of interest. Each sub-theme is highlighted in detail to demonstrate its contribution to the overall body of knowledge. By dividing the result into sub-topics, the reviewer examines each aspect of existing literature. This approach is suitable for demonstrating the variant perspectives in current knowledge and how each sub-theme has developed over time.
Methodological format
Another way of organized your literature is to group research based on research methods. Using this format, review of existing knowledge content may give way to the analysis of influencing factors. Using this approach, the reviewer can group it on the basis of methodology, culture and economic ideologies of the researcher.

Using either of these approaches, identify commonalities, variances, and nuances between studies. Do not forget to include information about each study’s research questions, methods, participants and related findings. Depending on the study, you may additional sections such as:

1. Current Situation – this section is especially useful if your research centers on ongoing research
2. Methods – this would be useful if the reviewer seeks to demonstrate the veracity of analyzed sources.
3. Gaps in research – this section is useful for researchers seeking to demonstrate and fill knowledge gaps.

Remember, the goal of a review is to discuss ideas by synthesizing existing literature. Avoid simple summaries or citation. Only include sources that contribute to your thesis.

Section C: Conclusion
This section gives you a chance to show how your research will contribute to the existing body of knowledge. Use this section to restate your thesis and elaborate on its significance in light of existing knowledge gaps. While there is no predefined method of writing a conclusion, you should leave your reader with a clear understanding of your research questions/

Learn more about Literature Review Outline


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