A literature review is a narrative compilation of selected academic sources related to your topic. Lit reviews describe the research you have studied and develop in your reason for the study, as well as provide criticism of past research. The end result should be a narrative showing the inherent need for your research in the field. Grounding your intended research in the current movements of the field will provide you with evidence of trends on where the field is headed. It also offers you the snapshot of the methodologies used in those studies. You can see what questions are being asked and find answers based on differing approaches to the topic.
An ideal literature review serves two purposes in your study. It strengthens your thesis and justifies your research question. By providing a critical summary of foundational and contemporary research on the topic, a literature review can show readers how your research fills important knowledge gaps. Pinpointing the other work in the field can show the unique perspective your study will provide. It can also offer a thoughtful critique of existing work that shows your full understanding of the opportunities and obstacles in your discipline.
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To demonstrate that you can: