What is the purpose of a Literature Review?
The purpose of a literature review is to convey to the reader what knowledge and ideas have been established on a topic and what are the strengths and weaknesses. The literature review allows the reader to be brought up to date regarding the state of research in the field and familiarizes the reader with any contrasting perspectives and viewpoints on the topic. There are good reasons for beginning a literature review before starting a research paper. These reasons include:
- To see what has and has not been investigated.
- To develop general explanation for observed variations in a behavior or phenomenon.
- To identify potential relationships between concepts and to identify researchable hypotheses.
- To learn how others have defined and measured key concepts.
- To identify data sources that other researches have used.
- To develop alternative research projects.
- To discover how a research project is related to the work of others.
What is a "Literature Review" anyway?