Writing a critical review of the literature is one of the most complicated tasks you may face.
However, there are keys to writing a successful critical literature review, and we are glad to present them!
A critical literature review helps demonstrate skills in two main areas:
- Information searching. You have to demonstrate your abilities to find sources and distinguish between primary and secondary information.
- Information analysis. You are expected to show your analytical abilities.
Keys to writing critical literature reviews:
- Do not summarize only!
A critical literature review is not a summary or a narrative essay. This paper requires critical evaluation of information. A good critical literature review must show that you synthesized information and presented the results of your research.
- Examine information just like you examine objects under a microscope
Have you ever examined anything under a microscope? You were looking at it from different angles, trying to find out something special and new to you. You should do the same when writing a critical literature review. Consider the problem from different perspectives; analyze different positions on the problem.
- Compare different points of view
A good critical literature review should have some elements of a comparative analysis. You will have to compare at least two sources and determine what is similar and what is different about both viewpoints.
- Structure your critical review of the literature properly
It will be rather hard to read your critical literature review if it is written as a straight text. Divide it into paragraphs. Start the discussion of each new point with a new paragraph.
- Insert quotations
Remember, when inserting a quotation into your critical review of the literature, you also have to inform the reader on the source from which this quotation was taken.
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