The following is a basic manual to give you an idea of how to write a literature review in a research paper while studying at college. Essentially, most college students will have to write a wide variety of different academic papers and, therefore, it can be useful to have a better understanding of how to complete different styles of essay, including research papers and literature reviews.
As part of your literature review you should ensure that the reader is quickly able identify what materials you will be discussing. For example, if the piece of literature that you are using as part of your review is a novel, then you should inform the reader of the particular title, as well as the name of the author.
You may wish to give some background relating to the author, such as where they came from, when they lived, and maybe even what might have influenced them to write the particular piece of literature that you are reviewing. You may also wish to include a few brief details relating to some of the other works but they might have written, if you think it would be appropriate.
As part of your review you should aim to discuss a range of different aspects about the work that you are reviewing. For example, you may wish to discuss how well-written the work was and how easily it is to engage with the content. Alternatively, you may wish to discuss how relevant the content is and how accurately it depicts a certain situational and how well it describes the issues that are being talked about. It might be that you want to draw the reader’s attention to any particular themes used, and explain what impact they had on the literature, and effectively how well they are used in the writing.
One thing to be aware of is that you should not just focus solely on any positives, or exclusively on any negatives, no matter how tempting this might be to do. Instead, you should ensure that you produce a balanced report that highlights both positives and negatives. Of course, it may be that there are far more positives than negatives, or vice versa. If this is the case, then it is perfectly acceptable to draw attention to this, as long as you do so in a balanced, unbiased manner.
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