Reasons for Literature review before starting research

Friday, August 14, 2015 16:57
Posted in category Research methodology
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Reasons for Literature review

One of the essential task when you undertake a research, is to review the existing literature. This is to equipped yourself with the available domain of knowledge in your area of interest. Reviewing this literature may be time consuming or frustrating. But you should not become discouraged because you will find it fruitful in the end. A literature review has three functions. It helps you to:

  1. Bring Clarity and focus to your research problem.
  2. improve your methodology.
  3. Broaden your knowledge base in your research area.

Bring Clarity and focus to your research problem

You cannot effectively undertake a literature search without having some idea of your research problem. Literature review can play an important role in shaping your research problem. When you review the literature, it will help you to better understanding of the subject and thus helps you to conceptualise your research problem clearly and precisely.It also helps you to understand relationships between your research problem and available body of knowledge.

Improve Your methodology

Going through the literature review will let you know the methodologies adopted by others to find out answers similar to the ones you are investigating. It will tell you procedures and methods which others have used and if they are similar to the methods you are proposing. What procedures have worked well for them and what problems they have faced with them. By becoming better aware of any problems, you will be in a better position to select a methodology that will provide answers to your research problem. This will increase your confidence in methodology you chose for you.

Broaden your knowledge base in your research area

The most important function of the literature review is to ensure that you read widely around the subject area in which you want to conduct your research question. What others have researched in a similar research problem, what theories have been forwarded by them. What gaps exist in the relevant body of knowledge. Whenever you are doing a research for a higher degree, you are expected to be an expert in your area of study. Literature review helps you to fulfill this expectation. It helps you to understand how your findings will fit in the existing knowledge.

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