10 Common Mistakes to Avoid in Literature Review Writing

A review of the literature is rightfully considered the most difficult chapter of the paper. This is due to both objective difficulties in the need to search and critical processing of a large amount of literature, and to the fact that during its implementation, students learn to correctly formulate their thoughts. On the other hand, a literature review is often the first part of a paper (a course work, diploma paper, or dissertation, etc.) presented to a supervisor, and he forms an opinion about your abilities on its basis. This makes its high-quality implementation extremely important.

Writing a review of the literature is a rather difficult assignment. Some students try to do it without anyone else’s help, but others decide to turn to specialists with a request “Please, write my literature review” and receive the high-quality paper at the previously indicated time. The choice is yours! But, in this article, we will tell you about the main mistakes that should be avoided when writing a literary review. This information is useful for every student. Try to study it carefully.

Common Mistakes

10 сommon mistakes to avoid in the literature review writing are represented below:

  1. The lack of a basic idea. Before writing a review of the literature, it is necessary to clearly articulate its main idea. The purpose of the review, first of all, is to describe what was done before the time of the study and, thus, to determine the place of the present study in the knowledge system on the issue under study;
  2. The lack of the need for research. Moreover, the literature review should justify the need for research. That is, it is necessary to show that the study of the issue raised in the work, on the one hand, is relevant and promising, and on the other, it has not really been carried out or was carried out in insufficient volume. Sometimes students make mistakes and omit this important point, and therefore, as a result, we have a paper in which the main idea is missing;
  3. Wrong form of presentation. Another typical mistake in the literary review writing is the use of an irregular form of presentation of the material. The review should be well structured. Practice shows that the presence of a clear structure facilitates the perception of the material and significantly improves the subjective perception of work;
  4. Incorrect writing style. Since this is a scientific work, it should be written in a scientific style, no colloquial words and phrases should be there;
  5. The incorrect content. This is another mistake that students often make. The literary review should have the correct content. It should correspond to the topic of the work and consider issues quite fully and deeply, important questions should not be missed there. Therefore, the content should be put at the forefront when writing a review of the literature;
  6. Not meeting the expectations of the supervisor. Since the review of the literature is ultimately evaluated by the supervisor, it is very important to understand its requirements for the content of the review as early as possible. This will allow avoiding a situation in which the supervisor will not be satisfied with the content of the literature review, as well as significantly reduce the time and labor resources for its preparation;
  7. Failure to comply with the requirements for the volume of work. There is no official standard for literature review volume. But, for example, the volume of a literature review of 25-30 pages is considered optimal for diploma works and dissertations. Despite this, the issue requires a separate discussion with the supervisor, as he may have his own opinion;
  8. Incorrect formatting of in-text links. Since this is a review of the literature, it is very important to correctly draw up links to the sources used. Sometimes students make mistakes and format them wrong. It is recommended to adhere to the sample ‘last name, year’, for example, (Kotler, 2001);
  9. Incomplete or incorrect bibliography. When evaluating work, the teacher often pays attention to the list of references. But many students do not consider its proper design to be important. But it plays a huge role in the literary review. When assessing, the number of used literature sources, the share of foreign literature sources, the age of the used literature sources, and the completeness of the literature are taken into account;
  10. Untimely submission of the review. It is important to adhere to the deadline. Many students do not comply with this requirement and, therefore, do not get a high score, even if the paper is not bad. This is their mistake.

Try to take these common mistakes into account and you will surely succeed in writing an excellent literature review!

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