When it comes to writing a literature review most students tend to mistake it for annotated bibliography. However, a literature review goes beyond what most students understand it to be. This step by step guide can help you understand a literature review and how to write it better.
Review all APA guidelines
You need, first of all, to understand what APA guidelines really are in order to come up with a better literature review. Most literature reviews are written in APA style therefore you need to be familiar with this concept. Study all guidelines, like margins, fonts and spacing used. The same case should be applied to title pages, body, text citations, abstracts and quotations.
Choose a topic
Once you are familiar with the first step it’s time to choose a topic for your literature review. Start by identifying the literature you wish to review. Online databases can come in hand by helping you in this area.
Research on the topic
You have already decided on a literature topic, then its time for you to realize what the topic involves Research is the most appropriate step in this area. Search for available information on the topic and take what you need, to write your literature review. The background information research on the topic is also a good mental preparation for the writing task ahead of you and helps you gather what you actually need.
Analyze the literature
The next step after this is probably writing and you need to prepare for that. Start by first analyzing all the articles and reviews relevant to your literature. Know the ones important and those that aren’t and make appoint of writing them down in form of notes as you will need to revisit them in the course of your writing.
Make summary of literature in a table
This is recommended in order to help create an overview of your literature as well as organize and summarize all important findings. Tables help in developing and writing your literature review in the sense that they can be easy to interpret and synthesize the relevant information. The tables to consider in your literature review include the research method table, definition of key terms and concepts to be used and summary of research results.
Process the literature prior to writing the review
With all the information gathered and stored in various forms like notes and tables. Use them to develop an outline of what is to become your review. Remember the fact that every writer has a unique writing tone and you need to maintain it in the course of your writing. Apply all gathered facts on the topic and make sure they are well analyzed and defended. Your reader should be able to connect the dots from the topic you are trying to narrate to him and understand where you are coming from with all the arguments and theories you represent in your review.
Now you can write you literature review
Using the information you have synthesized in the outline you had previously developed, it is now time to write your literature review. Make sure the reader understands the topic of your review and can relate to it. Avoid unnecessary words, but stick to those that can best explain the problem area for your review
Create that essay that will clearly represent your review
With all facts put together during the writing process summarize them into one big essay that captures all aspects of the literature review just like you wanted to from the beginning. Revise the essay and it’s time to publish.