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10 Golden Rules of Writing a Research Paper Literature Review Section

The literature review of a research paper can be considered a preface to your work. It’s required for dissertations, theses, research proposals, etc. If you want to write a decent review, the following ten rules will assist you while working. 

  1. Review the stylistic guidelines.
  2. There are many formatting demands, and they are usually strictly checked. Look through the stylistic guidelines and reread your text to avoid mistakes. 

  3. Pick the literature that will be reviewed.
  4. Create the list of literature that played the greatest role in your studies. You can skip the materials of lesser importance, or describe them later.

  5. Write firm reasons for reviewing the literature, and the selection criteria.
  6. You have to explain why you have chosen this material, and ground your criteria of selection. The readers should see the methods that you have applied in order to form your research basis. 

  7. Categorize the literature.
  8. Categorization is an excellent idea. You can organize the material according to the date of creation, topics, subtopics, importance, etc. This is necessary for better understanding of the text. 

  9. Start the review with general facts and slowly progress to the more precise.
  10. A gradual succession in writing makes the picture clearer to the reader. The precise data can be wrongly perceived if you forget to write a general outline of the research. 

  11. Trace the common elements in every work in the context of your research.
  12. State the joint elements in the publications, and use them to support your own ideas. How strong was the influence of the materials on your job, and in what aspects?  

  13. Avoid criticism.
  14. Remember that you are analyzing, not criticizing. Avoid both negative and positive statements. The review should be written in a neutral style without expressing your emotions. 

  15. Always use the most recent theories and works.
  16. If you are conducting research, the data should be fresh and factual. Try to use the latest works, as they are more likely to grant you reliable information. 

  17. Make sure that all the reviewed literature is directly related to your topic.
  18. You can omit literature that doesn’t have a direct connection to your topic. 

  19. Never forget to write a conclusion.
  20. The conclusion is the final part of the review, so you shouldn't forget about it. Write about the value of the materials in shaping your work, and the perspectives of the research. Lastly, don’t forget to give credit to the authors.  

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