The understanding of fatherhood in the West of Scotland

The Literature Review 

A literature review provides an overview of previous research on a topic that critically evaluates, classifies, and compares what has already been published on a particular topic. It allows the author to synthesize and place into context the research and scholarly literature relevant to the topic. It helps map out the different approaches to a given question and reveals patterns. It should form the foundation for the author’s subsequent research and justifies the significance of the new investigation. 

There are numerous social methods books which will give you useful info about the literature review. This advice includes everything from how to select literature for inclusion, analysing and categorising, structure and writing. We recognise the following book as particularly good and it’s 

Oliver, P. (2012). Succeeding with your Literature Review: A Handbook for Students. UK: Open 

University Press. 

When reading for your literature review you should ask yourself the following questions: 

1. Who are the key researchers on this topic? 

2. What has been the focus of the research efforts so far and what is the current status? 

3. How have certain studies built on prior studies? Where are the connections? Are there 

new interpretations of the research? 

4. Have there been any controversies or debate about the research? Is there consensus? Are 

there any contradictions? 

5. Which areas have been identified as needing further research? Have any pathways been suggested? 

6. How will your topic uniquely contribute to this body of knowledge? 

7. Which methodologies have researchers used and which appear to be the most productive? 8. What sources of information or data were identified that might be useful to you? 

9. How does your particular topic fit into the larger context of what has already been done? 

10. How has the research that has already been done help frame your current investigation? 

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