A literature review contextualizes research by:
An effective literature review:
A literature review is based both on research and the writer's interpretation and analysis of this information. Through this process it is important to distinguish between the writer's interpretations and ideas and those which are found in the research; therefore, cite sources appropriately.
It is beneficial to have difficulty finding literature on your exact topic because that means there is a justification for new research on the topic. The goal is to conduct research at the graduate level on topics that are unique or cutting-edge. A literature review can include dividing a new topic into related topics that will be synthesized to contextualize the new research.
A primary source is a document or physical object which was written or created during the time under study. These sources were present during an experience or time period and offer an inside view of a particular event. Some types of primary sources include:
A secondary source, such as a literature review, interprets and synthesizes primary sources. These sources are one or more steps removed from the event. Secondary sources may have pictures, quotes or graphics of primary sources in them. Some examples of secondary sources include publications such as textbooks and magazine articles.