22 Aug Mistakes Students Do While Writing Literature Review
The students working on research, thesis and dissertation papers find the process of compiling the literature review tedious. Literature review required students to carry out research on the topic by studying the existing literature and reviewing whatever has been published on the topic by the previous researchers and accredited scholars. The purpose of including a literature review in research is to present the readers with information about the existing knowledge and ideas on the topic of study. When working on the literature review of research, the students need to make use of:
- Critical appraisal skills
- Information seeking stills
It is important to carry out a critical appraisal for the information so that unbiased and valid information related to the topic can be included in the literature review. The information seeking skills allow the students to efficiently scan the literature either manually with the help of digital resources for the identification of useful books and articles. The common make that student make when conducting the literature review can be classified into the following three types:
- Writing Issues
- Structure Issues
- Validity Issues
Mistakes in writing literature review category #1: Writing Issues
- Including personal opinion
The literature review is purely the review of the existing information about the subject. It should be unbiased and objective. Number of students at subject knowledge when conducting the literature review and also include their personal opinions. It is important to understand that the personal opinions should we save for the analysis and discussion part of the research and therefore the literature review should only be centred around the topic while providing the thoughts of the previous researchers.
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- URLs in the body of literature review
The citation for the literature review should provide the details of the source of information on the basis of the referencing style recommended by the professors. It is often seen that the students insert very long URLs and links for the articles and research studies included in the literature review. This is a wrong practice and should be avoided by the students.
Plagiarism is a heinous crime and the biggest mistake the student can when conducting research. They have been instances where the entire thesis has been rejected because of plagiarism and therefore the students are suggested to take this issue very seriously. When writing the literature review, it is important that the students do not make any unjustified claims that are made up and not a part of the text of the literature being reviewed and carefully reference the direct quotations that the students have taken from the previous researches. Plagiarism, whether intentional or unintentional can cost you in terms of your thesis and even the course being pursued. Therefore, you must always give credit to the reports and journals when including the information from it.
- Using wrong referencing style
The referencing style is defined as the set of rules that govern the process of acknowledging the ideas, thoughts and work of other people when writing the literature review. APA and Harvard are the two most common referencing styles used for citing the sources in a research. It is important that you check your course profile and ask your lecturer beforehand. Some institutions also include the recommended referencing style in the instructions for the thesis. Crucial part of a successful literature review is referencing and therefore the students should have clear guidance on how to reference their sources when writing the literature review.
Mistakes in writing literature review category #2: Structure Issues
- Not using subheadings
The literature review for a thesis should have a single line of argument and the headings and subheadings should be structured around it. Make sure that you do not present the entire literature review as a single text without any headings or structure. The headings and subheadings should point out to the main argument and it should not only present the description of the sources but also support this argument in order to be effective.
- Poor structure
Most of the students do not get good marks even after researching properly. And the sole reason behind this is the structure. A poor structure will automatically lower the quality of your research paper. If this is the case with you, then consider making an outline paper before writing the article. For example, write down the sections, sub sections. This way your essay will stay organized, plus it will be easy for the reader to read the assignment systematically.
- Irrelevant information
Another common mistake that the students make is they do not use relevant data. If you want to score good marks then do put in only relevant data in the literature review. This will help your thesis to get more recognition and be considered an authentic source of information. To ensure that the information in the literature review is relevant, stick to mentioning the relevant points related to your subheadings. It should be understood that just because a study is essential to the given topic does not make all the details relevant. Do not get caught into including unnecessary details related to other studies and researches.
- Overlooking the methodology of the reviewed article
Give the methodology section of the research for the study that you wish to include in your literature review a thorough reading. Do not just focus on the abstract, results and discussion sections of the study but also ensure that the methodology is valid and relevant to your topic of study. Even a cursory reading of the methodology section can provide valuable insights that will not only decide the relevance and validity of the research but also help you in shaping the methodology of your own study. Overlooking the research methodology will result in wasting your time as you may include information in the literature review that is not relevant or valuable for your study.
Mistakes in writing literature review category #3: Validity Issues
- Including non-scholarly sources
Something that is seen too often is that the research students rely too much on professional opinion articles rather than searching for more authoritative or scholarly sources. They tend to avoid authoritative sources because these sources are usually the most arduous to read. Do not take shortcuts during the literature review stage. Make sure that you spend quality time reading authoritative sources, no matter how much effort this requires. Doing this will make your literature review more compelling to read. It will also make your thesis stand out from the rest. It will also give you extremely valuable insights into appropriately conducting the rest of your study, making the long road ahead so much easier.
- Using very old information
It goes without saying that information and the literature review for a thesis should be new and not include dated opinions and ideas on the subject. Making use of very old information for the literature review will make it dated and irrelevant.
- Not including dissenting options
It is found that the students only include the sources in the literature review that support the opinion that they hold towards the topic. It is important to understand that it is acceptable to include the literature having the opposite opinion in the literature review and their discussion will make the text richer and more balanced. It makes your argument stronger and does not make it weaker. However, it is important do not focus unnecessarily on error element text and only include the studies that have a dissenting opinion and also provide an explanation for this dissent.
- Excessive use of direct quotations
It is a bad habit to rely excessively on direct quotations when writing a literature review. It is acceptable to include some direct quotations in the study but the students should not rely on the direct quotes too much. Doing this will prevent the students from making use of their critical thinking skills and analysing the information included in the literature. The purpose of the literature review is to carry out an analysis and evaluation of the literature by synthesizing it and presenting your own opinion and understanding of the text. Therefore, avoid relying too much on direct quotations when compiling and writing the literature review for your thesis.
The aforementioned guidelines will help you in avoiding the mistakes that students generally make when writing a literature review. However, we understand that as a student it is impossible to write a completely error-free and impeccable work of writing. The challenges can result in frustration and therefore you can always find thesis and dissertation writing help online. You only have to contact assignment work help and we will ensure that you do not waste your time and energy and provide you with the necessary assistance to help you finish your thesis or dissertation on time. Contact us today for the best offers and quality dissertation and thesis writing help.