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.With a focus on creative practice, your research may not necessarily be guided by an explicit research question or a gap that your research aims to address.
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.
Rather, it should include the key sources related to the main debates, trends and gaps in your research area.
Even if you’re in the early stages of your research and just beginning to conduct a literature review, it’s useful to consider the eventual role that your review will play within your thesis and the way it functions to orient your readers.
Literature refers to a collection of published information/materials on a particular area of research or topic, such as books and journal articles of academic value.
However, your literature review does not need to be inclusive of every article and book that has been written on your topic because that will be too broad.
Humanities theses are generally divided into chapters which each deal with an aspect of the research problem.
There is usually also a short literature review in the introduction, to situate and justify the study, but often further appropriate research literature is integrated into each chapter.
After selecting a topic to investigate, you will begin to locate and read sources.
Then you will analyse, evaluate and synthesise the texts before organising them into a logical structure that you will use to write your literature review.