This involves reading and appraising what other people have written about your subject area. It can be both descriptive and analytical. That is; a description of other people’s work and analyzing the contribution of others with a view to identify similarities and contradictions made by different authors.
A literature review attempts to integrate what others have done and said, criticize previous scholarly works, build bridges between related topic areas and identify the central issues in the subject matter.
Undergraduates looking at carrying out research must look at other people’s papers where appropriate.
Where applicable use conjunctions or linking phrases such as “in contrast, it has been reported by, according to, there is much debate about, another school of thought suggests, whereas, another view, all evidence points towards, conflict in opinion was revealed when, this is contradicted by, two sources, namely, and admitted that, alternatively, subsequently, meanwhile etc.
Inclusion of diagrams or illustration to back up your points.
Acknowledging the work of other authors. Good citation and accurate referencing.
2. At the end of each chapter
A good balance of sources e.g., include materials published by: referred journals, conference proceedings, reports, textbooks, websites etc.
Look for the most recent publications and study;
Sub-divide your project topic into sections
Identify and include all literature that fall under relevant subjects in each section.
Find out the similarities in the statement made by previous authors
Identify common problems raised by the authors
Itemize contradictions in the statements of the different authors.
To start out with reviewing related literature you need to do Eight (8) things;
Split your approved project topic into variables
List out keywords from the variables
Search for materials that fall within the keywords
Download and study materials searched
Take notes and list out the authors of every article in the material and write out details of the materials (e.g., Journal, text book etc.)
Start writing your own reviewed literature
Prepare your summary and identify gaps in the materials that helped you build your literature.
Proofread for grammatical errors.
Study your topic: This will give you a clear understanding of the topic. Understanding your topic is very important; it provides you with leads on how to embark on the study, materials to look out for and the nature of environment the study is to be carried out.
Identify the variables:
Topic; AN ASSESSMENT OF USER-DEMAND PREFERENCE FOR RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES IN NEW HAVEN LAYOUT, ENUGU
Now your focus is the items in BOLD. Hence;
USER-DEMAND PREFERENCE is the independent variable
RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES is the dependent variable
This means that the type of residential property to be built is totally dependent on what the users crave for.
That aside; lets now go to the next step…
What type of residential property is predominant in New Haven?
What are the factors that affects preference for residential properties in New Haven?
In what ways can the most preferred type of residential property be improved?
Note: your keywords must not deviate from the TOPIC. It must be in line with your Aim of Study (purpose) and must answer each Research Questions provided above.
|USER-DEMAND PREFERENCE||RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES|
|Property demand||Concepts of land|
|Residential property demand||Property|
|Residential property users||Types and classification of properties|
|Residential property supply||Types and characteristics of residential properties|
|Residential property user-demand preference||Development|
|Housing demand||Property development|
|Factors affecting residential property demand (preference)||Residential property development|
|User-demand preference for residential properties||Property development finance|
|Improving the most preferred property type||Type of residential properties predominant in Enugu urban|
The list is endless. The more literature you review, the better your research.
The next is to search for materials that fall within your keywords: Follow the steps below to achieve this;
Go straight into the INTERNET and use academic search engines to get related materials (journals).
You can use either of the following academic search engines;
ResearchGate – https://www.researchgate.net/
Academia – https://www.academia.edu/
Google – https://www.google.com/
Google Scholar – https://scholar.google.com/
Microsoft Academic – https://academic.microsoft.com/
ERIC – https://eric.ed.gov/
BASE – https://www.base-search.net/
But i recommend using GOOGLE SCHOLAR (https://scholar.google.com/).
To know how to use Google.Scholar to get relevant materials I would recommend you look up introduction-background of the study.
Search Recent Materials: You don’t want to waste your time looking for materials with obsolete information. Any material that is over six (6) years in the internet should not be included among your sources. However, you can study older materials just to have background knowledge on the subject matter and state sources in bibliography. If your research was carried out in 2022 for example, the materials you should study to build your literature review chapter should fall between 2017 – 2022. The more recent the materials, the relevant the information and the greater your chances of finding reliable data and gaps. Recent materials help you relate with recent happenings.
At this point you will download the materials you’ve selected vide google.scholar in hard copies. The essence of downloading the materials is so you don’t lose them and to be able to print after download. Once the materials are printed you should start studying them in three steps;
Step 1: Do rapid reading i.e., read them very fast to have an overview of the author’s idea.
Step 2: Do intensive reading, this helps you to identify salient points and to mark important aspects of the literature. At this stage your focus is on the abstract, the body, findings, conclusion and recommendations of the literature.
Step 3: Re-read and assimilate the subject matter. This stage enables you to go over the literature a second time by scanning through paragraphs. Your focus here will be to itemize the author’s point of view, identify arguments, similarities and contradictions in definitions and concepts.
As the caption implies, the materials under review must be captured in both your citations and reference list. You can achieve this by having a jotter by your side for penning down important points, re-writing relevant sentences in your words and developing paragraphs in your understanding. The paragraphs that you develop will help you write a full literature review in chapter two.
Writing your literature review must be in line with your institution’s standards e.g., APA style 6th or 7th edition which must be written in simple, clear and original words. Don’t forget to include intext citations and extract details of the paper for reference build-up.
Your write-up must be properly formatted in accordance with your supervisor’s specification. Your literature review usually falls under chapter two, though the number of pages to cover may not be outrightly specified, but ensure to have sufficient literature to back up your research. This means that you shouldn’t fall below 50pages using the Times New Roman or Calibri font style. The most accepted font size for most institutions is between 12 and 14. The headings and sub-headings must be properly captioned with title numbering e.g., 2.0, 2.1, 2.1.1, 2.2 etc., backup theories and concepts with diagrams well cited for easy identification of sources.
Arrange your literature in chronological and methodical order for clarity. Depending on your topic and supervisor’s instruction; you should present your literature review in either of Theoretical, Conceptual or Empirical frameworks.
This is one of the most important aspects of your literature review. Your summary of literature review should be able to summarize your entire chapter 2 showing the similarities, arguments and contradictory statements by various authors under study, this is where you will explain the gaps in the literature you’ve read, key observations and your own contribution to the body of knowledge. You can also suggest relevant materials or list of bibliographies for further studies of related subject.
At this point you are virtually done with your chapter 2, the next line of call is to seek external help to proofread your work, I’ll strongly advise you don’t do it yourself; you tend to overlook or miss out salient mistakes such as typographical or grammatical errors if you proofread yourself. Seeking professional proofreading help may not come to you for free, you should make a little financial sacrifice to perfect your literature review chapter. I also recommend you run a plagiarism test to save you the stress of returning to re-write this chapter at the end of the whole work. This part of your project or thesis has the greatest number of pages and high tendency of plagiarism, so checking plagiarism at this stage helps to reduce plagiarized content which will invariably have a major toll on the entire work. Most universities use Turnitin plagiarism checker, it is important you find professionals who can check plagiarism with same tool or better plagiarism checking tools with larger word similarity search capacity.