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.
On our blog, you can find other useful information, including tips for writing a dissertation critique and literature review papers.