Increased ease of access to a wider range of published material has also increased the need for careful and clear critique of sources.
Just because something is ‘published’ does not mean its quality is assured.
You need to demonstrate to your reader that you are examining your sources with a critical approach, and not just believing them automatically.
Your interpretation of each piece of evidence is just that: an interpretation.
It would be safer and probably more realistic to say that your research will ‘address a gap’, rather than that it will ‘fill a gap’.
When readers come to your assignment, dissertation, or thesis, they will not just assume that your research or analysis is a good idea; they will want to be persuaded that it is relevant and that it was worth doing.This Study Guide explains why literature reviews are needed, and how they can be conducted and reported.Related Study Guides are: Referencing and bibliographies, Avoiding plagiarism, Writing a dissertation, What is critical reading? The focus of the Study Guide is the literature review within a dissertation or a thesis, but many of the ideas are transferable to other kinds of writing, such as an extended essay, or a report.It is important that your literature review is more than just a list of references with a short description of each one. Merriam (1988:6) describes the literature review as: Merriam’s statement was made in 1988, since which time there has been further extension of the concept of being ‘published’ within the academic context.The term now encompasses a wide range of web-based sources, in addition to the more traditional books and print journals.It can also establish a framework within which to present and analyse the findings.After reading your literature review, it should be clear to the reader that you have up-to-date awareness of the relevant work of others, and that the research question you are asking is relevant. Be wary of saying that your research will solve a problem, or that it will change practice.You can find the contact details for the Information Librarian for your own area via the Library web pages.This person can help you identify relevant sources, and create effective electronic searches: anything on your research area is a good start. You may also want to make a clear decision about whether to start with a very narrow focus and work outwards, or to start wide before focussing in. It is a good idea to decide your strategy on this, rather than drifting into one or the other.They will ask questions such as: These are questions that you will already probably be asking yourself.You will also need to be ready to answer them in a viva if you will be having one. are particularly relevant to the process of critical review.