You may be asked to write a literature review as part of an undergraduate project or postgraduate dissertation. A well-conducted literature review will showcase your ability to:
The structure of a literature review may vary according to your specific subject but it will normally include these three areas:
Having identified the topic of your review, the first step will be to undertake a literature search.
Before you login to a database to begin your search it's crucial that you analyse your topic, breaking it down into a number of research questions.
Take, for example, this topic: Are biofuels the answer to falling oil reserves?
You could type this sentence into a database search box, but that is usually not helpful, as the sentence may not contain the most appropriate keywords. Also this single sentence is unlikely to encompass everything that you want to find out. You need to break down the topic into a number of separate questions and then look for the answers. For this example here are some of the questions you could ask:
You may find the answers to all of these questions using a single search engine such as Google Scholar, or a single Library database, but you are more likely to succeed if you match each question to a relevant source.