What is A literature review in research paper

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Welcome to post where we are trying to write research in business administration or marketing. In our previous post, we have tried to write a little bit of introduction to our research and we have tried to be clear about our research aim. Now in this post, we are going to talk about next a huge part of our research. Which is called a literature review?

Clear about what we should have so far:

what-we-should-have-so-far-literature review in research paper

There is nothing hard about writing a literature review. It is not a creative task, but you really need to put a lot of hours into writing a literature review. Before going into that, let’s be clear about what we should have so far. So far, we should be very clear about what our field of research is going to be like. Then we should be quite clear about our research idea what are we trying to research within this field.

We also should have acquired let’s still a vague idea about our research aim. We maybe should have several alternatives for our research aim. Then we should have at least a few paragraphs in our introduction which are written and also, we should have by now read several articles about our research idea. So that’s what we should help with now.

Literature review in research paper

Now we are moving to the literature review in a research paper.

Reviewing the work of others

A literature review is about reviewing the work of others who have done something in this field you are researching. In the literature review, you will look at the work of other people and you will relate it to your own research.

Let’s say you are writing about it, let’s keep this example about ski resorts in Scandinavia and how they use social media. What you will do? It is quite simply trying to find articles about ski resorts that are considering Scandinavia or maybe you can try to find articles that are writing generally about ski resorts in Sweden.

Find some work about social media

Then you will try to find some work on social media. Now we will talk about the concrete techniques of how to do this in our other posts. Now when you have these articles you will read through them you will skim through them and you will get some information from there which can be valuable for your research. And now you gather all of these ideas into your paper you will formulate it nicely. So that all of the work of other people is sort of written in your literature review.


Of course, in literature review referencing is very important. You have to sort of acknowledging that these other people have done something and you are simply using their information. Referencing is very important here.

When you hold it down what a literature review will do for your research is that it will give it a super solid basis. It will sort of all the information that will be there. Now that will allow you to go outside and make your own data collection. Before you are able to collect some data you need to help with the literature review done.

Some advice for you

Again, here I have some advice for you.

The structuring

First of all, there is something still a bit creative in writing a literature review. And that is structuring it. There is not that much creative work but one part of this process is still being creative and that is the structuring. When you will be collecting all these articles let’s say from all over the internet about your field about your topic you need to structure them. This is what we will focus on it.

Let’s say you find articles about ski resorts in general. Then you find articles about social media and then once a week in social media will find some articles a lot of articles that are referring to using pictures on social media. You will make a subtopic here and then another subtopic can be what’s interacting with customers through social media. Even when you are searching through the articles you start to see these subtopics and you need to translate these subtopics into your literature review. So, structuring it will be a very important task.

Theoretical framework

Second advice is a little tribute there is sometimes confusion when calling or let’s say naming this part of your research. It may not be called a literature review it can be called something else. It can be called the background of your work. Sometimes I have even seen research is where introduction and literature review are one thing together and it’s just a little bit messy.

But sometimes it can be called a theoretical framework. A theoretical framework is a little bit different from writing a literature review. When you are writing a literature review as I said you are collecting the work of others that is relevant for you. While when you’re writing a theoretical framework, you are sort of drawing a frame around your research.

And this frame is constructed out of models out of some solid and concrete concepts that have been written by others. And by drawing this frame, you will say okay I’m operating with my research with this concept, that concept, this model, and that model and I will use these theoretical models this theoretical framework to approach my data to approach what I am researching that phenomena.

The theoretical framework is a little bit different from the literature review. It can also happen that your supervisor requires you to help both of these things. You will have a two-page long theoretical framework. Then you still have the literature review where you are sort of collecting the work of others that have been written.

Alright, so that is the idea behind the What is A literature review in the research paper post. As I already mentioned to you we are going to go through some concrete techniques of how to properly write a solid literature review.

Sources Of Information For Literature Review

I think you already got the idea that we are writing a literature review. We are going to use some sources of information. Now, most likely you are told that your university that to write fine research you should use as sources of information academic articles. And you should not use blogs or some online resources or especially not Wikipedia. Let me talk a little bit about these sources of information.

Academic articles

First of all, academic articles, we are being told that academic articles are the greatest source of information. Now from my experience that is not always true because of several reasons. Now, first of all, think about how long time it takes for an academic article to be published.

So, let’s say a phenomenon happens and then some academics decide to write an article about it. Then it takes one year to get that article published. And then let’s say it will take one more year for that academic article to reach you. Academic articles can be describing something that has happened five or ten or fifteen years ago.

Often it happens that academic articles are outdated. So be careful when choosing these. So that you do not choose the sort of old academic articles that are not that relevant for you anymore.

Quality of the article

Second of all not all of the academic articles are the best. I mean from my experience I have seen a lot of articles that were not of that high quality. And the reason behind why not all of the articles are of the greatest quality is simply because you know publishing these articles is a great business.

Nowadays there are thousands of journals that are publishing articles. They are not that caring about the quality of the article. They just want to get it published so they can get some money for it right? When you will be taking the academic articles evaluate the quality of it. Also, maybe check the journal where this article was published if it is a high-quality journal or if it is some unknown more quality Journal than maybe even the article is not of that high quality.

I hope, now you have to good idea what is A literature review in research paper? You may also read this article How is a research proposal written?

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