Literature Review Summary

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A literature review written in the early stages of research is likely to change because you need to review and revise it from time to time and ensure it is up to date.

You will probably find yourself engaging with the literature in different ways at different stages of your research.

A successful scientific literature review will not only identify the current gap in knowledge, but also position your own research project as a viable way of addressing it.

You thus need to build a solid argument to convince the reader thatyour theoretical and methodological approach is likely to result in a worthwhile contribution to knowledge.

You will also need to revisit your literature review in the final stages of your research to relate your own findings to what other scholars have previously found in your area.

At this stage you may need to explore fields that were not included in your preliminary review.Conducting a literature review is an ongoing, non-linear, and iterative process.“Your literature review will inform your question, theory, and methods, and your question, theory, and methods will help set the parameters of your literature review.This is a cyclical process.” (O’Leary 2010, p.83)It is usually one of the first tasks that graduate research students undertake, and one of the last to be completed.This is a cyclical, iterative process in that you will return to find and read more sources and incorporate them into your synthesis.While many of the general considerations outlined in this module are pertinent to all research, there are some particular things to consider when writing a literature review within your discipline.If you are writing a literature review as part of a practice-based exegesis, the content within this module will be relevant to you.However, it’s important to note that, to some extent, your literature review is likely to deviate from a typical literature review.This is reflected in scholarship that deals with predestination.Historians and theologians tend to focus primarily on its place within Protestant thinking and its role in the Reformation, generally seeing the earlier Catholic inheritance as something that began with Augustine and stopped with Aquinas.In addition, within research-based texts such as a Doctoral thesis, a literature review identifies a research gap (i.e.unexplored or under-researched areas) and articulates how a particular research project addresses this gap.

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