What is a literature review?
Review of literature that relates to a particular topic; with the purpose of finding out as much as possible about the subject, research that has been done already. It is a report that is a written discourse about the literature which may be established as a component part of a thesis/research report (1994: Chapter 4, page 223, Bryman, Bell)
Why do a literature Review?
1. Provides the basis on which you justify the research question and build the research design. Use this literature throughout the final research report to verify, clarify, substantiate, and raise questions.
2. Identifies what is already known in the area.
3. Identifies what concepts and theories are relevant
4. Identifies significant problems/inconsistencies/unanswered research questions related to the topic in addition to the question you have raised
5. Tells you what has been done in the past/success/failure in this area related to your research so you can benchmark with the results
6. Validates the research question you have for significance and importance
Where do you find a literature review in research?
1. Separate chapter- usually chapter/section two in the finished document
How is the literature review used in research?
1. Refines research question /tells of its importance
2. Substantiates importance/ by referring to experts.
3. Identifies gap/problem
4. Can provide meta- analysis (pooling results from various studies to estimate the overall effect of research in this area of study) usually secondary analysis of other researcher data.