Research Literature Reviews: Important Questions to Ask

Research Literature ReviewsA research literature review is a task that almost all students hate doing or, at least, find the most daunting and tricky.

Usually, teachers ask to prepare a literature review for research papers or some reports, but it can be a separate assignment as well. However, research literature reviews are obligatory sections in such projects as theses or dissertations.

What is the most important thing you should keep in mind when working on a research literature review?

You should remember that it is an analytical document, where you have to evaluate works of literature published on your topic, not just list and summarize them. This is exactly why two major skills you need to demonstrate while preparing research literature reviews are:

  • information seeking – your ability to find and choose only relevant works;
  • critical evaluation – your ability to analyze pieces of literature and pick unbiased works.

The following questions will help you analyze and choose works for your research literature review:

  • Is the main problem formulated in the work clearly?
  • Does the author explain the significance of this issue?
  • What theoretical framework does the author use?
  • Could the author approach the problem differently?
  • What relevant literature does the author evaluate in his/her work?

When making your research literature review, you should be critical both to different authors, their works and to yourself. To check whether you do everything correctly, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Have I defined a specific problem or question of my research?
  2. What type of a research literature review am I writing? Will it base on theory, methodology, etc?
  3. Is my information seeking stage effective? What types of sources have I found? What will I use to make my research literature review?

If necessary, check here more details about a Marketing literature review.