Importance of Literature

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1 - Introduction

In this article we will talk about the importance of literature reviews as a way of summarsing the state of the art of a field. We will examine ways of constructing literature reviews and we will see in the links provided examples of literature reviews.

2 - Definition of literature review

A critical summary and an assessment of the current state of knowledge or current state of the art in a particular field.

The ability to carry out a literature review is an important skill for any student. It will provide you with a context in which to place your assignments regardless of the module you are studying. Practically any assignment in any module you take will involve reading what other people have written on the subject of your assignment, gathering information to refute or support specific arguments, and writing about yourfindings. For small scale projects, (like module assignments), you will not be expected to provide a definitive account of the state of research in your selected topic. You will be required to provide evidence that you have read a certain amount of relevant literature in the topic, that you have understood that literature, and that you can summarize the material you have read in a coherent way. The literature review is precisely that summary.

In order to do a literature review you will need to spend time reading the literature relevant to the topic you are researching. Understanding the literature in your research topic will prevent you from repeating previous errors, or redoing work which has already been done. It will also give you insights into aspects of your topic which might be worthy of exploration and future research.

3 - Purpose of a Literature Review

There are several purposes to writing a literature review.

To provide the reader with an up to date account and discussion of the research findings in a particular topic. This might sound pretty esoteric but you will find that in writing a literature...
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