Literature Review Writing

Literature Review Writing

By Meenu Sharma

We often struggle to write a good review of literature whenever we come across new research areas. The prime interrogation starts with how to begin, what to write, and later it raises apprehension such as it’s becoming difficult to assemble ideas together.

I reflected on what could be a good review; I have read enough papers based on the guidance on writing a literature review. These papers clearly stated that if a literature review is good, then there won’t  be  much  room  left  for  doubt  on  either  point.

Previously, my approach to write a literature review was nothing more than a collection of summaries of paper related to one’s topic. Over a period of time, exclusively in last few months, I realized that a meaningful literature review is much more than this. It is not merely extracting the phrase from gathered related papers.

Now I understood it, more in terms of using ideas to substantiate the specific process to the given subject matter leading to contribute something novel.  Not only this, the meaning of quality of review also changed for me. I understood it more in terms of extensiveness and deepness which has more clarity, consistency, thoroughness and which follow the effective meta-analysis and synthesis.

This writing process made me aware of what is going in the field, I got the wider insight about my own work -- how does it fits with what has already been done, the significance of my work and how it will lead to new knowledge. Now my perspective for writing review has changed completely. Recently I have begun to think more about the art of writing literature rather than doing review.

In my view, reviewer evolves during review progression and reaches that point, where s/he realized that it’s now between my texts and my mind.  It became pleasing, when I myself got engaged with such a flow during review, where one piece of a theme was building up by another. There only, I perhaps could have placed myself within text and time. It also reminded me lines of French Philosopher, Jacques Derrida that “there is nothing outside the text”.