How to Write a Literature Review for a Research Paper

Do you need a literature review for a research paper?

If you’re not sure how to go about the writing process, here are some helpful tips and tricks that will help you get started.

Writing a Literature Review for a Research Paper

A research paper is academic writing that contains the author’s original research on a particular topic and findings. A literature review is a section of this paper that summarizes and evaluates the previous research on the topic. It is important to write a literature review because it shows that you have read and understand the existing body of work on your topic, and it helps to situate your own research within the larger field.

When writing a literature review, you should summarize the key points from each study in order to provide context for your reader. You should also present your analysis of how these studies connect with one another and what they contribute to our understanding of the broader topic.

The sections below will walk through some general considerations when reviewing studies as well as specific things you should do when doing so for your research paper.

Start by Creating an Outline

Creating an outline should be the first step when writing a Literature Review for a Research Paper. A well-developed outline allows you to think about how you will organize your thoughts and how you might respond to counterarguments, objections, or other issues that may arise when making claims.

It is also important to include details on your own research in your outline because it forces you to clarify and crystallize some of your key points.

There are two ways to approach outlining: either start with your own research and then move on to reviews of others’ work, or start with a discussion of reviews of others’ work before discussing your own. Either way, it is best to use numbered lists rather than paragraphs because they are easier to follow.

For example , if I were writing a Literature Review for my research paper titled Gender Identity as Shaped by Cultural Factors, I would start with my own ideas and argue that culture shapes gender identity.

Next, I would discuss how cultural factors can shape an individual’s gender identity in different ways (e.g., familial culture) before summarizing articles on sexual orientation or feminism.

Then, I would explore my thesis statement and highlight any areas where there is disagreement among experts about its validity or applicability to the population being studied.

Include Background Information in Your Introduction

Before beginning your review of the articles you’ve selected, it is important to lay out their importance by briefly summarizing the point(s) of contention around which they revolve. As such, begin your introduction with a brief summary of the issue at hand before giving a historical overview.

Once you’ve laid the groundwork, proceed with a summary of the various theories and arguments made in support of your own position. Provide enough detail so that readers can get a sense of what is meant by your position without overly relying on quotations.

Next, Summarize Articles Under Consideration

Your review should include summaries of the key points from each relevant study.

Unlike a disseration or thesis, a reserach paper generally requires less extensive background information. The goal of a literature review is not to make new contributions to scholarship but instead to synthesize, analyze, and interpret previous research.

In a research paper, the purpose of the literature review is to situate your own research and findings within the existing body of work on your topic. In addition, a review provides you with an opportunity to introduce counterarguments, objections, or other issues that may arise when making claims.

When reviewing for your own research paper, remember to focus on your own argument and avoid becoming too bogged down in lengthy descriptions of the scholarly debate surrounding your argument.

You want to give your reader enough information so that they understand the significance of your paper, but you don’t want them to come away feeling like they need to read through every journal article available.

Analyze and Discuss your Results

After summarizing each relevant study, explain what you have learned about your topic by drawing on insights from multiple studies.

In other words, use each source as a means of advancing your argument. This does not mean that you must reference each and every point made in an earlier study, but rather that you draw upon certain examples to help build your own argument and support points that are debatable or potentially contentious.

For instance, in my research paper on Gender Identity, as Shaped by Cultural Factors, I would likely mention the idea that a person’s family environment could influence his or her gender identity. This would show how the theory in question is not confined to a Western perspective, and it would further strengthen my argument that socialization is crucial for shaping one’s identity.

Conclude with Summary of Arguments

To conclude your review, sum up your main points and provide your interpretation of the research you discussed. Again, be sure to rely more heavily on your original thoughts than those of others.

Point out any weaknesses in any particular study while also highlighting strengths where possible. Make it clear that this piece of research is only part of the puzzle; do not pretend to have all the answers!

One final step is to present your argument in the context of broader questions and topics that future research might explore. This gives you a chance to look beyond the immediate implications of your research and also allows you to argue why some questions might be considered more important or interesting than others.

In the case of my research paper, for example, I would say that it is important to keep in mind the role of society and culture in influencing one’s gender identity. Future research might investigate whether or not the gendered traits ascribed to a given object shape a child’s perception of that object.
In conclusion, your review should synthesize and evaluate a number of different sources on your chosen research topi

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