Writing a Literature Review

Since the time when I failed at writing part of literature review, some time passed. Looking back that time I came to the next points. First, literature review is not a descriptive list of relevant materials. It is a set of literature read, evaluated, and analyzed in advance so as to formulate an answer to a reserach question. Second, the purpose of this part is not to prove the existance of the issue, it is to identify to what extent this issue has been studied before and what gaps exist at current time. Third, all reading materials should be credible and reliable. And, fourth, this part should be easy to follow and comprehensible for readers to get first understanding of what the nature of research is.

Regarding to what is happening with my literature review now, I think I have already framed my research question and it sounds like ” What are the parents’ understanding about their role in their children’s academic development?”. Now, I have passed to the next stage that is searching relevant literature. I quite well understand I need to read a large volume of material but at current time it covers only 7 articles. While reading these materials I mostly face with the following challenges as inconsistencies of  style, research techniques, and lack of time. After reading only these seven reliable sources I have identified that my research area has been investigated before but from another angles.Outlining gaps in the literature, I will illustrate other researchers’ findings in terms of time, location, and experience. However, I guess I will face with some difficulties my group mates outlined in thier writings. For instance: identification of  another appropriate resources, existing gaps in literature in the context of Kazakhstan, and some misunderstandings concerning to writing a literature review.

In overall, literature review is a step by step work that requires great responsibility, time, and researching skills.


3 thoughts on “Writing a Literature Review

  1. Dear Mira,
    I completely agree with your statements about literature review written in the first paragraph. You clearly laid out the main functions of this part. In my opinion, if we (researchers) state the right goal and research questions, it is easier to look for the relevant resources and here, yes, we often deal with challenges as we read several works and articles and cannot be sure about our right analysis on the evidence that we do not have enough literature in more narrow direction (e.g. on Kazakhstani level). However, with the help of our required knowledge and permanent practical works on our sessions, we are more and more aware of the critical analysis of each author’s opinion and how to apply it to the specific case.
    I hope that your topic on the impact of parents on their children’s academic achievement will be considered on the basis of scientific works, authors’ ideas and conclusions and your appropriate thorough analysis of other pertinent literature. Good luck with the further work on your thesis!


  2. Mira,

    The parents’ role in their children’s academic development is a very important topic. I hope that you have been able to find enough relevant lit on this. I wonder if there is much Kazakhstan-based lit on the topic. I know how hard it can be to locate just the right articles and books. Have you sought help from the NU reference librarian?

    Because of grammatical problems, your writing was not as clear as it could be, and I had to read some sentences two or three times.
    Your first sentence:
    “Since the time when I failed at writing part of literature review, some time passed.”
    This should be ….some time HAS passed.
    In a complex sentence with “since,” you usually use present perfect in the main clause.
    For example: Since I came to Astana, I HAVE MET many new people.

    Your sentence:

    “Second, the purpose of this part is not to prove the existance of the issue, it is to identify to what extent this issue has been studied before and what gaps exist at current time.”
    You have a RUN-ON here. Do you see where you need a period? Also, I am noticing misspelled words and typographical errors. Be sure to proofread.

    Your sentence:
    ……but from another angles
    That should be from OTHER angles. Use “another” for just ONE.

    Here it is again:
    ……another appropriate resources.
    Should be OTHER appropriate resources.

    “In overall,”
    Just say: OVERALL (without the preposition).

    4 out of 5


  3. Dear Mira,

    I believe that many of us have faced similar problems as you have, especially, when you do it for the first time. The part of reviewing literature really requires a lot of time and efforts and may challenge a lot and, certainly, we should not consider as a waste of time. It is more a kind of information or data investments into a project or research. The more we invest, in other words, the more we read and analyse the more precisely will be the purpose of the study, the more properly we will be able to determine methods of the study, as well as we will contribute more into this field if study.


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