A Critical Evaluation of the Literature

According to Caulley (1992) of La Trobe University, the literature review should:
compare and contrast different authors’ views on an issue
group authors who draw similar conclusions
criticise aspects of methodology
note areas in which authors are in disagreement
highlight exemplary studies
highlight gaps in research
show how your study relates to previous studies
show how your study relates to the literature in general
conclude by summarising what the literature says
The purposes of the review are:
to define and limit the problem you are working on
to place your study in an historical perspective
to relate your findings to previous knowledge and suggest further research
A good literature review, therefore, is critical of what has been written, identifies areas of controversy, raises questions and identifies areas which need further research.


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