Friday, 1 February 2019

How to Become a Doctorate: What is Literature Review?

Literature review (LR) is part of the introduction chapter of your thesis. And, it is an unavoidable part.

C. Hart (1998) in Doing a Literature Review: Releasing the Social Science Research Imagination (Thousand Oks, C.A.: Sage) states that LR is "the selection of available documents … on the topic … written from a particular standpoint to fulfill certain aims or express certain views on the nature of the topic and how it is to be investigated, and the effective evaluation of these documents in relations to the research being proposed".

In a brief lets understand what is literature review and why it is closely related to PhD.

  1. All the books, journals or whatever you read for getting a stronghold over your topic, is the LR.
  2. Reading the arguments made by previous writers and mentioning them in your thesis in a concise manner is what comprises of your LR.
  3. You can also think of LR as a way to acknowledge other's point of view and then coming up with your fresh argument that may have been not explored. In this way, LR and research question is a lot connected and cannot be understood without the other. It is the LR which will show you where you stand in relation to the topic.
  4. LR entails framing other's arguments and viewpoints. You have to show how others approached the topic. What was their methodologies. Did they approach any theory for explanation? What case study was made to arrive at the conclusions?
  5. While LR is about highlighting other's arguments and findings, it is also about finding problems with other people's research and seeking gaps within.
  6. Take extra care in writing the citations of whatever you read. Many times you feel its useless but there will be chances coming when you may want to refer them in future and argue "I agree" or "I don't agree" to that.
In 6 points I have tried to summarise what LR is and how to approach it.

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  1. Very nice and fruitful information in a summarize form thanx kindly what about research methodology

    1. Thank you for your encouraging words. And great suggestion!