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Write a Literature Review


The student who has to write a literature review should choose a work of literature, read it carefully, and think about it critically before writing the review. When written properly, literature reviews can showcase the best of a student's thinking and writing.

First, one should choose a work of literature that is relevant to one's field of study. The review writer should read the work of literature at least once carefully, but if time permits, reading the book several times will lend him or her a more authoritative voice, which will in turn produce a stronger literature review.

Second, students who write literature reviews should think critically about the works they have chosen. They should identify the areas that the book handles well, and they should identify possible areas of weakness. However, they should not immediately assume that the supposed weaknesses are actual weaknesses; rather, they should research those subjects briefly in order to confirm or deny their suspicions. Students may discover that they only thought the book possessed a certain weakness because they did not know the background information.

Additionally, students should train themselves not to make any judgments about the work of literature without forming a solid rationale to support those judgments. Students who write literature reviews should not simply like or dislike the work of literature; instead, they should like or dislike certain aspects of the work of literature for specific, concrete reasons, which they then explain in the literature review.

Finally, the student who must write a literature review should transmit his or her thoughts clearly and persuasively to the review reader. The student should try to convince the reader of the review's opinions by offering authoritative conclusions about the work of literature and grounding those conclusions solidly in verifiable evidence, such as quotations from the text. The student who is writing an academic literature review should avoid the sensationalism and highly emotive language that can be present in popular level literature reviews.


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