Writing a paper on a specific topic usually requires a lot of research to give your report credibility. The research paper typically involves a review of literature, including scholarly articles, studies, books and so on. If encased in a research paper, the point of the literature review is to study the findings of people who performed research similar to yours. In a basic literature review, you need to use the same techniques to dissect the information provided in the piece, though you do not have to connect it back to your research.
Establish the hypothesis of your own research paper if your review is part of the paper. For example, if you want to research the writing styles of two authors and compare them, write down your thoughts on what you expect to find before you begin your research. This will help narrow the scope of your research and make the paper more on-point.
Research to discover the notable authors and researchers studying the field you want to delve into. You do not have to rely solely on these people, but by studying their writings you establish a base of relevancy that your colleagues will appreciate.
Read through your pieces of literature to determine the important aspects of the review. See how the author's points compare and contrast to your own findings and theories, as well as those of the other authors. Take copious notes and highlight pertinent quotes in each piece you read, making sure not to confuse any author's ideas with another's.
Discuss the subject you have covered during the opening of your review. Talk about the wide range of ideas and theories on the topic without yet going into too much detail. This offers a general idea on the subject.
Explain each of the authors' theories. You want to include only the most important details of their theories and research so you can summarize each piece equally. Remember to include some pithy quotes and details that paint a picture of the authors' theories.
Review the works, comparing each author's work to the others. Describe the points you agree with and those you don't. If you have performed your own research, compare the authors' research to your own, as well.
Discuss how the area of research needs to be further studied, noting the lack of evidence in certain areas to uphold the authors' claims.
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