r, the purpose of the Literature Review is to develop an argument for the method chosen to
use in the research, and why this method is suitable for addressing the research question. The
literature review is also meant to give the reader a summary of the current knowledge on your topic:
how can you group the various authors under consideration? What assumptions do they share? Do
they agree about the implications of their work? Do they prioritise things the same and/or correctly?
what gaps are there in those views?
The literature review must have some kind of structure. For example, it can begin by describing a
phenomenon in a general way along with several studies that demonstrate it, then describing two or
more competing theories of the phenomenon, and finally presenting a hypothesis to test one or more
of the theories, based on the research question.
Remember that the goal is to construct an argument for why the research question is interesting and
worth addressing—not necessarily why a favorite answer to it is correct. By the end of the literature
review, readers should be convinced that the research question makes sense and that the present
study is a logical next step in the ongoing research process.
You should demonstrate awareness of key research in the relevant fields and provide an analytical
summary of current knowledge.
MUST inform the reader of previous research on the topic. Where does the research fit in the broader
knowledge of the area? How is the research similar to or different from other research in the field?
What is original in the research? Or if is proposed to replicate previous research, then why is such
replication necessary and to what end? Use the literature review to offer a narrowly focused critique
on the previous research that has direct relevance to the proposed study.
What has each source contributed to the reader’s understanding of the topic and how it has
advanced the knowledge on the topic. There is NO limit on sources! Must use as many as possible out
there. In fact, who are the key people that kicked off this field??? Ask questions that the Literature
Review cannot answer. What HASN’T been answered yet??? What has not been answered about the
When referencing, follow this structure: (John, 2012: 5; Megan, 2000: 56; Lee, 2006: 110). Please
use page numbers, as seen. This Literature Review will not have one source per sentence, rather, 25
sources per relevant reference. This must not sound like an essay where you find only one source per
line. IT IS IMPORTANT TO represent BOTH sides of the story. E.G. NONINTERVENTIONIST and FOR
THE INTERVENTION. So, finding sources that say the bombing was necessary, and others that say it
was not humanitarian as intended 50/50 balance between each perspective on the topic. Sources
have been attached.
Watch out for judgemental/biased language. Do not take sides. This literature review must be neutral
and must not favor a position on the topic. Thus, no opinion and equal debate from both sides. This
is not the place for arguing a case. It should more sound like E.G. “One school of thought within this
scholarship is A, one is B, another bunch of scholars have tried to synthesise it and come up C, and
no one has looked at D.” Please do not argue an opinion