Literature review is a body of text that determines the aim to review the critical point of current knowledge including substantive findings as well as theoretical and methodological contribution to a particular topic (Wikipedia). Another definition of literature review is “a literature reviews is a critical search for an analytical framework, or framework which you can put to work to test the hypothesis or to systematically investigate a set of issue (Jancovicz 2000, page 178).
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Literature review is a secondary source that combined with number of articles which have similar objective to form up a literature review. The numbers of articles were multitudinous cross-cultural journals, books, conferences and electronic sources of information. Therefore, literature review do not report any new experimental work, it is the review of an abstract accomplishment. Literature review able to help readers to understand the historical findings from other authors, its objective, it gives readers a draft to understand what was going on from the historical to now as well as telling the reader regarding the strengths and weaknesses of studies within the body. The following are the reasons to write a literature review:
Distinguishing what has been done from what needs to be done
Discovering important variables relevant to the topic
Synthesizing and gaining a new perspective
Identifying relationships between ideas and practice
Establishing the context of the topic and problem
Rationalize the significance problem
Enhancing and acquiring the subject vocabulary
Understanding the structure of the subject
Relating ideas and theory to applications
Identifying of the main methodologies and research techniques that have been used
Placing the research in a historical context to show familiarity with state-of-the-art development
Michael J Baker
Writing literature review is important because it can avoid making same mistakes as other people did. As when reading the articles, sometimes may find out the errors or the some outdated information, thus, writer able to filter the information gained and amend it in his or her own articles. Furthermore, writing literature review can help to increase your breadth of knowledge in your subject area. When being allocated to do a research, writer has to understand the objective of the research first before start any findings or surveys. Writer need to read numbers of articles to comprehend the subject area in order to figure out what has been done by prior authors and what have to jot down in current research. After read the multi cross-cultural journals or books, writer has gained the knowledge in the particular area. From reading articles written by other authors, reader can improve his or her skills in linking his or her own ideas to the theories to applications and identify what research methodology to be used in the current research either questionnaire, interviews, case studies, observational trial, experiment and so on. In doing a research’s literature review, writer has to going outside to contact experts in the particular field to gain other knowledge, information, ideas before he or she start to write anything.
The Importance of Literature Review
There are few types of literature review which are narrative, systematic and meta-analytic reviews. Narrative literature review in overall is the standard review of the literature, critically appraise and summarize the literature relevant to an identified topic (Hemingway & Brereton 2009). This type of literature review is integral the points from the number of articles and presented as background reading immediately. This kind of literature review tend to begin its selected topic with explanation of the rationale and by providing some theoretical or historical framework for the research paper and the reasons to examining studies relevant to the topic (Baun & McMurray-Schwarz 2007).
Another type of literature review is systematic literature review sometimes referred as “best-evidence synthesis” or “practice based research synthesis” (Dunst 2009). This type of literature review is a thorough, comprehensive, transparent and unbiased review of the literature undertaken according to a clearly defined and systematic approach (Aveyard 2010; Neely et al., 2010). Systematic literature reviews are lengthy processes that involve a focused cross-disciplinary search strategy with clearly stated criteria for inclusion and exclusion of the literature (Berkeljon & Baldwin, 2009).
Moreover, there is one more type of literature review which is meta-analytic review. Meta-analytic review sometimes known as “quantitative systematic review, provide a statistical review approach to measure the effect size and the aggregate studies relevant to the research question” (Sun, Pang & Wang 2010; Vetter, 2003). According to Humphrey (2011) stated that “meta analysis should also provide readers with perspective so that findings are interpreted in a meaningful ways.” Other than that, Neely et al (2010) said that “Every meta-analysis is based on underlying systematic review, but not every systematic review lead to meta-analysis.”
A research project is the make for informing or telling people with new knowledge or discovery. Literature review is important because it is a part of paper where researcher will be given an opportunity to strengthen the research paper by putting citation what other reliable authors had said about your topic. To putting citation in the research paper is for the purpose of to proving that writer is not just writing about any random subject but that many others have also poured their thoughts on the topic (Admin 2009). If without literature review which is no other reliable authors talking about the topic, it is only containing writer’s opinions about the fact that writer has discovered through his or her research. If the research project is just only contain with writer’s opinion, then how to further convince the readers? In this case, who will scrutinize writer’s research paper as he or she does not put any reliable evidence from previous authors who doing the same research in the particular field? Therefore, this is the need that is answered only by the “literature review” (Admin 2009). Simply by the fact that writer is using ‘referencing’ by citing what more credible people had say about the topic will build a stronger foundation for your paper (Admin 2009). According to the University of Western Sydney (2010), states that literature review is important to build knowledge and to identify the methodology of research and seminal that work in the particular field that writer involve to. Moreover, literature review help writer to focus and refine the research question by convey the knowledge gap (University of Western Sydney, 2010).
Literature review is to discover the problem of study however the problem of study can be solved by collection of data. It is important to know that what the researcher doing and how he or she worked from reading their research papers and the current researcher should not to duplicate the works done by previous researcher. Furthermore, by writing literature review, it able to help researchers to improve their research design and instrumentation, which not successful at last time (Cottrell & McKenzie 2011). According to Leary (2004), states that ‘a well created literature review establishes creditability of the researcher of the study, so he can get the entire benefit of his work’. Literature review is important because it is to judge the research question and to deliver latest research material for readers.
Procedures of Writing a Literature Review
The procedures of writing a literature review include:
Define the topic or research question
Identify the relevant information: Inclusion or exclusion criteria and keywords
Conduct the literature research
Screen all and exclude the irrelevant studies
Scrutinize the relevant studies
Extract data and develop graphic organizers
Synthesize the findings
Develop conclusion and recommendations
Define the Topic or Research Question
This is the initial step of start writing a literature review. During this step, it involves defining the specific topic and clear statement or review objectives or research question (Neely et al., 2010). The topic should be the researcher know enough about to determine whether it is viable researchable topic (University of South Australia). “Successful applications usually outline a well-defined research problem or area of focus linked to a body of literature that discusses some of the issues relevant to the proposed topic” (University of South Australia). According to Aveyard (2010), stated that “a good research question acts as a guide, clearly providing focus structure for the literature review process.”
Identify the Relevant Information: Inclusion or Exclusion Criteria and Keywords
After determine which topic to be organized, the next procedure is to identify the relevant information. By identifying the relevant information, researcher has to discuss a series of inclusion and exclusion criteria because the criteria have to fit with their review question and or the brief given by whoever is funding the project (Information and Computer Sciences). During doing the research and collecting the relevant information, researcher has to be cautious of any bias, be subjective, because researcher might introduce his or her bias into the review by adding certain inclusion or exclusion criteria.
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For example limiting to studies in English may miss important studies published in other languages (Information and Computer Sciences). Other than that, “all decisions taken to include or exclude certain studies or groups of studies should be documented in the methods – this way it can be seen that a systematic process has been followed”(Information and Computer Sciences). If the researcher is doing dissertation research, the researcher has to show that the reason why chosen the particular topic to focus, and why the researcher has to excluded others.
During this stage, the decisions from researcher are normally made by using the titles and abstract of the articles. Those that clearly irrelevant information is filter or exclude in this stage and those criteria which met are included in the review.
Conduct the literature research
The next step is to conduct the literature search by the identified keywords. Lucas & Cutspec (2005) said that “the search process involve a combination of many search tactics that include hand searching key journals and books, accessing the many electronic literature databases, investigating reference lists, and scanning the internet via multiple search engines, the latter likely to also include grey literature.” Usually during searching process, there are included cross-disciplinary in that studies from various field of specialization. For example, there are numbers of journals within the broad disciplines, such as education, health, medicine as well as family-based and children- based psychology that may relevant to some topic that involving with children hearing loss (Rhoades, 2005). Literature search need to be careful as use of many search engines, electronic database and websites that are necessity for.
Screen all and exclude the irrelevant studies
When all the journals, articles and papers are accumulated and abstracts are read, then need to classify the potential information that relevant to the research question (Hemingway & Brereton 2009). After that screened all the irrelevant studies and exclude it, then screen again the relevant information to ensure the consistent relevant to the research question and all identified variables (Rhoades, 2005).
Scrutinize the relevant studies
During this step, researcher has to scrutinize the relevant study. Another two independent reviewers have to be ensure that the consistency of the inclusion with the research question and protocol.
Extract data and develop graphic organizers
Findings from the studies of particular field are extracted from data extraction form which is tabulated data. Visual clarifiers can be acquired and formed from the tabulated data to facilitate knowledge of the similarities and differences between the relevant studies (Rhoades, 2005). There are number of variables extracted from the studies and the graphic organizer has to summarize the importance of the variables and the relationship of the variables with the studies. Rhoades (2005) stated that “when data extracted for analysis and synthesis, the different studies may vary considerably.” This is about when at this point, the determination is to make as to see the meta-analysis is appropriate or not. During this step, if the reviewers feel that the studies do not provide sufficient evidence, then, it is important to present the findings because lack of evidence to prove that their findings are reliable and it lead difficulty in publishing (Alderson & Roberts, 2000).
Synthesize the Findings
“With two independent reviewers, finding from each study are aggregated to produce “bottom line” on the clinical effectiveness, feasibility, appropriateness, and meaningfulness, of the intervention” (Hemingway & Brereton, 2009). Thus, the pool of findings is name as evidence synthesis (Rhoades, 2005). If the studies involve quantitative data or include not much of quantitative, meta-synthesis is provided in literature review (Rhoades, 2005). Conversely, if the studies involve sufficient evidence and quantitative data, the meta-analysis is conducted (Hemingway & Brereton, 2009).
Develop Conclusions and Recommendations
This is the last step of the procedures in writing a literature review. During this stage, researcher has to include some introduction regarding the studies, roughly review the overall structure of and the contents from the studies and then drawn conclusion from the findings of both secondary and primary research. The conclusion should state the crucial annotation and cover the strengths and weaknesses of the studies in the particular research. After drawn conclusion, provide some potential impact of the research conducted such as its contribution of knowledge or understanding, its contribution to theory development, its contribution to practice and applicant, and its implication for future research (Baker & Foy). Thereafter, indicate some potential recommendation arise from the previous sections in term of the implication of findings (Baker & Foy). Other than that, due to all studies have its own strong point and its shortcomings, thus, researcher can state some of the problematic issues arise when conducting the findings and what improvement should be done. Therefore, it is significant that researcher develop awareness of the problematic issues noted in the review (Rhoades, 2005).
Literature review is a must to put in a research paper when researcher wish to write a research articles because it is essential to know what has been done by previous researchers in that particular studies and figure out what should be do in the current study to correct the mistake and error done by previous researchers. Thus, it is significant to read number of articles, journals, books from many elsewhere to gain knowledge from the particular studies in order to have a draft in mind what should be do. Furthermore, there are number of procedures to follow in order to write a good literature review because it may be read by others people to judge when the paper being published. Therefore, it is crucial to write a precise literature review to avoid mistakes or errors and get teasing by others.
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