Planning a literature review

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PhD Life

As you embark on your PhD, or indeed any research undertaking, you will need to produce a literature review. Not sure exactly what a literature review is, or why it is necessary? Here Charlotte Mathieson outlines the purpose and scope of the literature review.

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What is the literature review?
The literature review surveys the existing work on the topic of your research. Its purpose is to provide the reader with the current state of your research field and to critically evaluate existing literature. The main objectives are to:

  • Summarise what’s already been done in your research area to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of the field and how your research relates to it
  • Identify gaps, problems or limitations in existing research to situate your research within the wider field and create space for your original contribution
  • Identify sources that will be helpful to your research and, depending on the project…

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