The Purpose behind Literature Review

The Literature Review is an integral part of any dissertation. It sets the foundation of the research and helps the researcher to identify the gap in existing research along with providing the complete knowledge of the related researches taken up before. The complete purpose of the Literature Review can be compiled in three folds:

A) To take up a detailed survey of the current state of knowledge in the designated area of inquiry.

B) To find out the main authors, articles, theories and the findings in that area.

C) To identify the different gaps in knowledge which are existing in the research area.

In the present times Literature Review is done by the use of computerised keyword searches. The combination of the key words can be made by using “and” and “or” operations. It helps to narrow down or in some cases expand the research. With the help of the keyword search, the generated relevant articles should be browsed through manually, in detail.  It helps to determine the suitability of the article for a more detailed review. It is imperative to ensure that the Literature Review should be reasonably complete and not confined to only a few journals. A study of only a few journals restricts the vision of the researcher and does not bring a holistic and comprehensive perspective to the research. It is also to be taken care of that the search for relevant researches is not confined to a few years, specific journals or methodology.

After having reviewed the articles, they may be summarized in the form of tables. The focus should be towards adding more structure to them and it could be done by organising frameworks like a concept matrix. The indicators of a well conducted Literature Review are that the initial research questions have been addressed completely, there are innovative, un explored and newer questions that need to be addressed and it answers the question convincingly whether there is a modify the research questions in coherence with the findings that have been drawn from the analysis of the Literature Review. To add to  it , last but not the least,  the review should also be able to provide some clues, intuitions to the questions that would be become the potential answers and help in identifying the theories which have earlier been used to address questions of similar genre.

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