Evaluating drones’ technological advancement being implemented within an environmental setting for long-term observation and monitoring of animals. This technological advancement is the wireless power transfer (WPT).
.DOCUMENTATION STYLE: Use the style for your field of study. Most likely, this will be APA or MLA. You must specify which documentation style you are using. You must use in-text citations and have a reference page.
WRITING THE LITERATURE REVIEW
Literature reviews are organized around ideas, not the sources themselves. Those ideas should derive from the focus, or purpose, you establish. To establish that focus, you must read your sources thoroughly, take notes on them, and begin looking for patterns that you see that address your reason or purpose for writing the review.
That “purpose” is generally the thesis for a literature review. The thesis for a literature review operates differently from one used in an argument paper. Here is an example of a weak and strong thesis for a literature review:
• WEAK: The current trend for treating depression combines medication and cognitive behavioral therapy.
• STRONG: Though cognitive behavioral therapy is used in treating depression, more research is needed about expanding patient access to these treatments in underserved populations.
The “weak” thesis will lead to a literature review that summarizes sources one by one; the “strong” thesis will require a synthesis of research already done about treating depression that shows where more might be done about improving patient access to such treatments.
Thus, the literature review is never an end in itself; it synthesizes important information that not only answers your research question, but also takes a stand on what should happen next to solve the problem you identified, address a gap in the existing research, or to improve/change current practices in a field or profession.
AUDIENCE: While most literature reviews are written for academic audiences, your review must further identify which audience in academia would be most interested in your work. Additionally, some literature reviews are written for a public or professional audience.
Regardless of the audience you choose, a literature review is a formal piece of academic writing, so use formal diction in writing it. Avoid contractions and personal pronouns.
SYNTHESIS: The synthesis is the centerpiece of a literature review, and it can only happen successfully if you read your sources carefully. Take notes as you read, being mindful of key terms, the currency of the source, main claims, research methods used, and where you see possible controversies emerging.
To write the synthesis, begin by grouping various sources according to how they are similar and different. As you do so, be mindful of why these similarities and differences exist. Think about how the evidence you found in your sources fits together like pieces of a puzzle that yield a larger picture of the issue so that you can reach some tentative conclusions about them and discuss those implications.
WRITING THE INTRODUCTION: The introduction is a key element of a literature review. It should identify the topic and its narrowed scope, explain the importance of the topic, comment on the extent and nature of the sources in the review, and address the purpose of your narrowed topic and problem (the thesis). Toward the end of the introduction, you may choose to identify the organization you will use, such as major topics and subtopics.
Since the introduction to a literature review has a great deal to accomplish at the outset, it may take two paragraphs.
WRITING THE LITERATURE REVIEW: You may use headings to identify subgroups (answers to your research question). This strategy can better direct you to organize by ideas rather than sources. Each subgroup should contain a brief synthesis of its sources. It is not unusual for a source to appear again in another subgroup.
Avoid the obvious. Stating that a source is “too hard” or “impossible to understand” is not a valid critique in a literature review. Revisit the synthesis chapter in Writing in Transit for guidance in synthesizing your sources.
BE CAREFUL ABOUT UNINTENTIONAL PLAGIARISM: Avoid direct quotations and use summary and paraphrase instead. This strategy can make certain you have read your sources carefully and understand their key points. Using summaries and paraphrases more shows the audience that you have understood and processed the research. It increases your credibility. Review the lit review sections of peer reviewed journal articles. Are there many quotes?
● REGARDLESS OF HOW YOU INTEGRATE A SOURCE, MAKE SURE YOU MARK YOUR BOUNDARIES! Your reader should have no difficulty recognizing where your idea ends and the source’s begins. Use an introductory lead-in (signaling phrase) and an in-text citation to mark the boundaries between your ideas and those of your source.
CONCLUSION: The conclusion should revisit your key purpose in writing the literature review and end with your conclusions about the research, questions you may have, and/or recommendations you can now make based on your review.
• 12-point font: Times New Roman
• 1-inch margins all around; double-spaced; page numbers on each page
• Title page: your name; class info; date; title of your lit review
• In-text citations for quotes, paraphrases and summaries
• Page numbers for quotes
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