Develop outline, working from a broad view, narrowing to the specifics that demonstrate the need for your study. Establish headings and subheadings. The purpose is not to voice your opinion but to show what is known about the subject at the present time. References must be cited. All citations must be on your final reference list. This section should be 6-10 pages long.
Introduction: (1 – 2 Pages)
· Define the general topic, issue or area of concern.
· Point out trends in the published research in the area or conflicts in the theory, methodology, evidence, and conclusions, or gaps in the research or a new perspective.
· Detail your reasons for reviewing literature on your topic; explain your stance and organizational structure.
Body: (4 – 5 Pages)
It’s important to consider how you will present the sources you have found. You may want to consider the following methods:
· Chronological– Organize the research in the order it was conducted.
· By publication– You may group sources by the type of research they present or the area/field of research.
· Trends– Categorizing your sources this way will present changes in data interpretation over time.
· Thematic– Organizing your ideas around topics or issues. This organizational structure presents an emphasis on ideas or themes.
· Methodological- this approach groups research studies by the way the research was conducted.
Be sure to include:
· The current situation in regard to the topic or issue.
· The history or related ideas that have influenced the development of your issue.
Conclusion: (1-2 Pages)
· Summarize the major parts of significant studies and articles but your attention on the focus of your position.
· Evaluate the current thinking on your topic. This may be a place for you to suggest that there are flaws in the research, theories, findings or areas of study.
Conclude by providing insight into relationship between the topic and the focus of your area of interest, study or proposed position on the topic.
Be selective– Choose the most important parts of each source to highlight in your review.
Use quotes sparingly- Most literature reviews do not use direct quotes from the text. Use short quotes if you need to once in a while, but do not quote large passages of text. Your goal is to summarize in your own words the studies you have found that provide documentation of your position or serve as background.
Summarize and synthesize– You will summarize the work of others as you create your literature review you’ll also need to synthesize it as a way to relate it to your own work.
Keep your voice– This means that even though you are presenting the ideas of others you will still need to use your ideas and words.
Paraphrase with caution– Retell the ideas of others with caution being sure to watch that the ideas of others are presented as someone else’s and your ideas are presented separately.