Caution to Take in Literature Review

Review of literature requires one to take some level of caution, including but not limited to the following: use of evidence when reviewing, being selective, sparingly using quotes, maintaining one’s own voice, accurately paraphrasing and revising the review.

Using evidence

When reviewing literature, it in vital to refer to several other sources when advancing a   point. In other words, avoid allegations in literature review. Note that the researcher’s interpretation of the available sources must be backed up with evidence to support his/her claim.

Being selective

Select only the most important points in each source to highlight in the review. The type of information you choose to mention should relate directly to the review’s focus, whether it is thematic, methodological, or chronological. There is high likelihood during this age of information to get junks from quacks. Use scholarly sources when reviewing literature, mainly from scholarly journals, published works, databases and organisations’ and governments websites among various other tangible sources.

Sparingly using quotes

Use quotes sparingly although some short quotes here and there are okay, if you want to emphasize a point, or if what the author said just cannot be paraphrased. In as much as possible, try to report and report accurately.

Summarizing and synthesizing literature

Remember to summarize and synthesize your sources within each paragraph as well as throughout the review. You could probably summarize different studies and identify the gaps.

Maintaining one’s own voice

While the literature review presents others’ ideas, your voice (the researcher’s) should remain front and center. When reviewing literature, try to weave or tie references to other sources into your own text, while maintaining your own voice. This can be done by putting some remarks either within the paragraph or at the end using your own words.

Accurately paraphrasing

When paraphrasing a source that is not your own, be sure to represent the author’s information or opinions accurately and in your own words. For instance, you can either directly refer to the author of your source, or provide ample notation in the text when the ideas are not your own. Avoid plagiarism by paraphrasing and maintaining the source of your information.

Revising the review

First, check the review to ensure that it follows your outline. Then, re-work on the language of your review so that you’ve presented your information in the most concise manner possible. Be sure to use terminology familiar to your audience; get rid of unnecessary jargon or slang. Finally, double check that you’ve documented your sources and formatted the review appropriately for your discipline. Today, there are computer applications that can help you to review your work, improve grammar and avoid plagiarism. When revising or editing your literature, seek support from independent editors or make use of online applications or purchase one.

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