Reviewing the existing literature

The most common reason to review the existing literature is quite obvious to know what work has already been done on the same subject and topic. Literature review is a place where the researcher demonstrates that he is able to engage in scholarly review based on the researcher’s reading and understanding of the work that was done by others. Literature review is also used to develop an argument about the importance of the research and where it would lead.

The objective to explore existing literature is basically to:

What is already known to people about the same area?

What concepts and theories could be carrying significance for the current work under            study?

What research methods and strategies were employed in studying the same topic?

Could there be any crucial controversies?

Could there be any unanswered research questions in the same area?

The last issue throws light on the possibility that the researcher would be able to revise and refine the research questions in the course of reviewing the literature. A competent review of literature is a means of confirming the credibility of somebody who is possessing knowledge in the same area. Reviewing literature is not simply a matter of reproducing the theories and opinions of previous scholars but also to interpret what they have worked on. It is done by using their ideas to support a particular argument.

One thought on “Reviewing the existing literature

  1. Collecting literature is one tough task, writing review apt to the study a tougher one. I was hopeful when i got reference papers related to my study with the help of my guide, but preparing a write to define the factors and the research gap, is very tedious. At the moment, I am searching guidance for the same. Can anyone help!

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