Even when you know how to undertake an assignment, you unconsciously make mistakes. The same reflects when you are writing a research paper literature review. As such, having a checklist to act as a pointer when doing your research papers becomes necessary. In most cases, students have a checklist highlighting the most important so to speak aspects of writing a literature review. However, the following should also form part of your checklist:
- How well do your sources relate to your research problems?
It is imperative to note that you may have relevant and authoritative resources but fail to show clearly how the sources are linked to the problem. On the other hand, you might have sources that are not directly or clearly related to your research question or thesis statement.
- Relying on secondary sources exclusively
Secondary sources of research include commentaries or analyses done by others. Although you can use secondary sources in writing a research paper, your focus should be primary sources of information. Based on the writer’s orientation or exposure, secondary sources of data could be biased.
- Failure to identify the most suitable sources
It is paramount to differentiate between quantity and quality. Find sources that will add authority and credibility to your assignment.
- Presenting a biased review
The temptation to focus on sources that only support your viewpoint when writing a research paper cannot be assumed. Present a review that focuses on both standpoints that support and refute your thesis statement.
- Failure to describe procedures used to arrive at answers
The credibility of research is validated by how well you explain the procedures used in arriving at an answer.
- Reporting isolated results
The credibility of your literature review results is based on your ability to synthesize when conducting a survey or writing a research paper as opposed to lifting ideas and results.