Literature Review

Common Mistakes in Literature Review Writing

Mistakes in Literature Review Writing

Failing to add necessary arguments in your literature review makes it poor. Most people make this mistake by simply summarising their readings. It is always recommended to avoid the use of words like ‘are reported’ literature review writing. It is due to these words which often lead to descriptive writing. The use of words such as “He said…” “She said…” are the Common mistakes in literature review writing as such a pattern indicates the lack of analysis.

Tips for Good Writing in a Literature Review

Good writing in a literature review writing demands the presence of

  1. Integrated research of various authors
  2. similarities and differences of ideas
  3. wide reading
  4. analysis and critical evaluation

Common Mistakes in Literature Review Writing

Writing & Stylistic Issues

  1. Use of emotional phrases: In a literature review section, it is recommended to not use the emotional phrases. Always remember that the writing of literature review demands to present the flow of ideas on your research topic.
  2. Give personal opinions: For the same reason that you don’t add emotions phrases, it is highly suggested that personal opinions must not be inserted in the review writing. Such a review is an unbiased display of ideas and research revolving around the topic.

Issues with the structuring of Literature Review writing

  1. The absence of background/definition section: This occurs more often and unfortunately; most students don’t focus on inserting pre-literature review section. Adding one is necessary as it gives relevant background information. A huge potential audience is left out if the key concepts and background information is not included.
  2. Bad organisation and structure: This is the most Common mistake in literature review writing as a bad structure makes the doctoral students rewrite and restructure many sections. With the use of subheadings, one can avoid bad structuring of the literature review. If such a method is deployed in the review, the focus on the bigger picture remains to allow the student to avoid illogical structure and bad organisation.
  3. Irrelevant content: Getting caught in the details of the review is most common to occur with the doctoral students, especially while reading other studies. This results in students writing or mentioning the irrelevant topics. Ergo, to ensure the relevant information in the literature review, mentioning the relevant points related to your subheadings is necessary. It should be understood that just because a study is essential to the given topic does not make all the details relevant.

How Can you Avoid Common Mistakes in Literature Review Writing?

Following points can help you with making your literature review look good in terms of information –

  1. Selecting the literature for review.
  2. Criticising the literature.
  3. Interpretation of the literature.

While writing a literature review, don’t read everything, but read the selective ones. Always remember to keep the bibliographical information.  Never give incomplete referencing (summaries, paraphrases, and direct quotes). The points discussed here can only be helpful if the presence of these points is confirmed in the review.

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Steve Jones

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