A literature survey involves an evaluation of sources relevant to the specific topic you are studying. Although many students know that definition, only a few know the types of literature review. This article focuses on the types of literature reviews. To know the type of literature review you should engage in, it is paramount that you understand the nature of your research and your research question. Below are some approaches you can take in writing or conducting a literature review:
- Historical literature review
Its focus is conducting research on a subject at a specified period. It covers the first time an issue, concept, theory, framework or theory emerged.
The purpose is to present information that supports or refutes the arguments presented. This kind of review can be accused of bias as it provides information that supports your viewpoint.
- Methodological literature review
It focuses on the methodology, i.e. data collection and data analysis methods that were used to arrive at an answer to a particular question.
- Integrative literature review
Its purpose is to review, critique, and synthesize the presented literature. The generation of new frameworks and perspectives is inevitable.
- Theoretical literature review
It focuses on investigating theories associated with a certain phenomenon. Are the theories relevant, how the theories were developed etc?
- Systematic literature review
It utilizes standard methods to identify relevant researches and analyze data. Its focus is a specific research question and mostly focuses on the cause and effect approach. It looks at the relationship between two or more variables.
When conducting a literature review, always remember the following: use primary sources to get information, evaluate, and come up with new concepts or incites gained from the review. To conduct a review effectively, internalize and understand each type of literature review.