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The Finer Points Of A Literature Review

Generally speaking there are two kinds of literature reviews. The first type is the more informal one, it is a review of a written piece of work, a summary and an evaluation of it. A perfect example is a review of a new book. The first type of literature review has a wider readership because it is more popular, while the second type is the scholarly resource. It is written as a review of a book or textbook but also has some points of reference in a synthesized format.

The casual literature review is supposed to include emotional, intuitive, aesthetic or intellectual responses and discussions concerning credibility, creative worth and literature value of the written pieces of work. Literature reviews which are more academic should contain an evaluation which is more intellectually based and focused or they should have analysis and a list of research done. Academic literature reviews should give details about the original research report. For instance, a literature review for the masses, a book review may contain some of the following phrases:

"if someone is certain that you should read The Celestial Jukebox then read it for sure. Of course, you can also wait for the movie, it would follow soon. The Celestial Jukebox reminds about Fried Green Tomatoes, Magnolia and even bears some resemblance to Gone with the wind in the making."

The second type of literature review, the scholarly review might sound like this:

" Some studies have taken a different approach on concentrating on how same-sex groups produce different types of interaction as opposed to mixed-sex interactions. Maltz and Borker conducted a typical study of this sort in 1982 developing lists of what they considered as men's and women's features of language"

If you are considering writing a literature review of the second type, the scholarly resource, according to professors at University of California, Santa Cruz then it is good to include the following: 1) a subject/topic/theory overview; 2) objects of the literature review; 3) a categorizing of the works under review; 4) a comparison of the inner workings of each source being reviewed; and a conclusion which draws the attention to the source with the more valid and more valuable arguments or positions.

In case you should write an alternative literature review, a book review or a report, then make sure you cover the several points listed: 1) a summary of the book; 2) examples of characters, plots, setting; 3) your own opinion what was the most interesting moment, what did you not like about the book, your advice whether people should read it or not.

By: Morgan Hamilton