As a piece of writing, the literature review must be defined by a guiding concept (e.g., your research objective, the problem or issue you are discussing, or your argumentative thesis).
A summary is a recap of the important information of the source, but a synthesis is a re-organization, or a reshuffling, of that information in a way that informs how you are planning to investigate a research problem.
The analytical features of a literature review might: It is important to think of knowledge in a given field as consisting of three layers.
It’s usually a bad sign to see every paragraph beginning with the name of a researcher.
Instead, organize the literature review into sections that present themes or identify trends, including relevant theory.
What are you being asked to do in your literature review? Check your assignment question and your criteria sheet to know what to focus on. Select appropriate source material: Use a variety of academic or scholarly sources that are relevant, current and authoritative.
An extensive review of relevant material will include — books, journal articles, reports, government documents, conference proceedings and web resources.
It could be from five sources at first year undergraduate level to more than fifty for a thesis. Keep a note of the publication title, date, authors’ names, page numbers and publishers. Each body paragraph should deal with a different theme that is relevant to your topic.
You will need to synthesise several of your reviewed readings into each paragraph, so that there is a clear connection between the various sources.
However, note that they can also introduce problems of bias when they are used to make summary claims of the sort found in systematic reviews [see below].
Integrative Review Considered a form of research that reviews, critiques, and synthesizes representative literature on a topic in an integrated way such that new frameworks and perspectives on the topic are generated.