[Solution]The literature review should

compare and contrast different authors’ views on an issue • group authors who draw similar conclusions • criticize aspects of methodology • note areas in…

compare and contrast different authors’ views on an issue
• group authors who draw similar conclusions
• criticize aspects of methodology
• note areas in which authors are in disagreement
• highlight exemplary studies
• highlight gaps in research
• show how your study relates to previous studies
• show how your study relates to the literature in general
• conclude by summarizing what the literature says

The purposes of the review are:

To define and limit the problem you are working on
• to place your study in an historical perspective
• to avoid unnecessary duplication
• to evaluate promising research methods
• to relate your findings to previous knowledge and suggest further research

A good literature review, therefore, is critical of what has been written, identifies areas of controversy, raises questions and identifies areas, which need further research.

Structure of the literature review
The overall structure of your review will depend largely on your own thesis or research area. What you will need to do is to group together, compare, and contrast the varying opinions of different writers on certain topics. What you must not do is just describe what one writer says, and then go on to give a general overview of another writer, and then another, and so on. Your structure should be dictated instead by topic areas, controversial issues or by questions to which there are varying approaches and theories. Within each of these sections, you would then discuss what the different literature argues, remembering to link this to your own purpose.
Linking words are important. If you were grouping together writers with similar opinions, you would use words or phrases such as
similarly, in addition, also, again
More importantly, if there is disagreement, you need to indicate clearly that you are aware of this by the use of linkers such as:
However, on the other hand, conversely, nevertheless
At the end of the review, you should include a summary of what the literature implies, which again links to your hypothesis or main question.
 

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