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Literature Review vs. Systematic Review

Literature Review vs. Systematic Review

The literature existing for a specific topic can be summarized in either a systematic review or literature review. So, both these topics are easily confused, until one delves into the dynamics of both these systems. Even though they are used to fulfil a similar requirement, a literature review is significantly different from a systematic review.

A literature review involves the qualitative summarization of a topic, typically using informal or subjective methods to collate and interpret data. On the other hand, a systematic review involves high-level study of the primary research using a focused approach toward identification, selection, synthesis, and appraisal of all relevant questions involved in the research. From the definition itself, it is evident that the latter review format is more comprehensive as compared to the former.

Both these review systems are inherently different and require specific requirements for their appropriate use. Inappropriate use of either of them can defeat the purpose of the review system.

A systematic review system is appropriate in cases when a focused question requires a pertinent answer. This system is primarily used to remove any bias from the review. Such a review system can be used to answer a clearly defined clinical question. The components of a systematic review include a pre-specified eligibility criterion, systematic search strategy, assessment of the findings’ validity, interpretation and presentation of the results, and a reference list. The number of authors needs to be three or more. An average time required to complete a systematic review is 18 months, on average. The timeline usually goes into months and sometimes, into years. From the above, it is understandable that a thorough knowledge of the topic is required, and a comprehensive statistical analysis of the resources is needed to be done. Such a review system supports the techniques of evidence-based practice.

On the other hand, a literature review is fairly basic in comparison to a systematic review. It is basically a qualitative summary of evidences on a particular topic using informal/subjective methods of collation of data. It can be used to provide a summary or overview of a particular topic; the topic can be generic in nature or a specific query. The principal components of this review system are introduction, methods, discussion, conclusion, and bibliography. The number of authors can be one, or even more. Since it is not comprehensive in nature as compared to a systematic review, the timeline required to finish this review ranges in weeks to months. A comprehensive understanding of the topic under review is not required.

Writing a Critical Literature Review

Writing a Critical Literature Review

After numerous healthy discussions with my friends and fellow researchers, I still wasn’t clear about the idea of critical literature review. So, I decided to take help from the online resources and from my mentor. The knowledge I got, was surely helpful and I really want to share it with the PhD candidates who are still looking for the answers related to the critical literature review.

I would like to start this post by answering ‘what a critical literature review is?’

Okay, let me tell you that a critical literature review is an overview of published and unpublished resources which answer two basic questions:

  • What are the current theoretical issues, policies and debates related to your topic?
  • What is the current state of knowledge about these problems and issues?

You guys must be wondering what’s the requirement of a literature review?

I tell you, Literature Review is required:

  • As a way to frame and focus a research project
  • When research questions are formed without sustained reference to the literature.
  • Knowledge of the literature helps in tighten research question and enhance conceptual sensibility of the topic.
  • As a way to justify a research project to the readers.

Now, how should you start with a critical literature review?
You would start writing your literature review once your topic for research has been decided and objectives have been ascertained. Now according to the same, you must go about writing your literature review. You could follow this stepwise guide for achieving your goal of writing a high-caliber literature review:

  1. Accumulating the literature you would like to review:

This step is basically for taking notes of two points:

Why you chose certain studies to review and reject the others and secondly, the years in which these studies were conducted. It is advisable to refer to the researchers that are closely related to your research topic and are conducted recently.

  1. Analyzing the literature critically:

Be a Critique! Now, you should be able to briefly state the purpose and findings of each research study you are including in the review. Also, you should be able to point out the weakness and limitations of researches conducted. It will be helpful in analyzing the literature at an all-inclusive level. At a micro level, jot down the key contribution of researchers which is unique and value adding in nature. You should be able to address the relevance and exceptional researches conducted by the fellow researchers as it is the mark of a good scholar.

  1. Summarizing the review:

There should be a draft of various research contributions you are going to extract from each research papers. Divide the research papers based on the similar findings and similar thought processes together. In this step, you should be able to identify and formulate the studies that disagree with each other’s, it would be helpful in building and highlighting the contrasting view point about research topic in review.

  1. Give structure to your review:

It is easier to give a literature review a proper structure if you have a format in front of you. This will help in governing the flow of topic and from one paragraph or section to the other.

  1. Start drafting the review:

After following g the above mentioned steps, you should be all set to begin with draft of your literature review. The literature review will link your research objectives with the findings of already conducted researchers and also address these studies that draw opposite conclusions as compared to yours.

I think, you are good to go now with the critical literature review. In case, you still have any query, feel free to get in touch with us by dropping us email at:

Learning the Turabian Style

Learning the Turabian Style

There are many styles of writing that are used for preparing academic articles. One of the most popular styles of writing is the Turabian style. It was founded by Kate Turabian, an editor at the University of Chicago. It is a rather simple citation guide and students would be well advised to learn this guide. There are many institutions who want their students to prepare their content using this style of writing. Details about this style of writing can easily be gained online on the many writing labs that are available on the Internet as well as several books that have been written on the subject.

Get the Approval of Thesis Effortlessly

Get the Approval of Thesis Effortlessly

Once having chosen an ideal theme, the scholar may be unsuccessful in getting approval for his thesis synopsis. In order to avoid the negative response of your thesis plan, it is significant for you to take into consideration the services of certified PhD thesis proposal writing companies having trained proposal writers.

Services Offered

They offer you with high end support regarding PhD thesis help, editing, or investigation. The services meet all your requirements and targets. It is important to comprise specialized advice to assist to you. The qualified writers are expert in use of English, and they are quick to present a layout based on your detailed requirements, as they comprise writers from numerous disciplines.

Choose the best service

PhD Thesis writing needs rigorous efforts to ensure a high quality project. There is a multiplicity of sites presenting PhD thesis writing services. Be cautious of such websites as their reports are frequently filled with mistakes and copied text. Such websites seldom introduce the writers to clients as they hire economical freelance writers with inadequate skills or acquire coursework that scholars have previously presented to universities.

A consistent PhD thesis writing service with expert writers cannot be hired randomly. There must be writers who are devoted for providing you excellent PhD thesis by means of expert writing skills. The writers put in all the efforts towards determining your educational career in the most effective manner. All the thesis writers are well-known counselors from diverse universities.

A PhD thesis document is the ultimate tool towards professional accomplishment. Consequently, it is necessary for each scholar to choose for the top PhD thesis writing service for the creation of a magnificent PhD thesis paper.

How do you communicate with your supervisor?

How do you communicate with your supervisor?

Your relationship with your supervisor can be a deal-breaker in the academic world – that is, it can take your work up to the next level of success or it can prevent even your best work from getting its due credit. But how can that be? Isn’t the work you produce more important than the relationships you maintain?

The truth is, it is just as significant to ensure that you and your supervisor agree to the various aspects of research. Especially if you are looking to complete your PhD in a happy, healthy frame of mind, as opposed to embodying the stereotype of the frantic academic, it will be beneficial to you to nurture your relationship with your supervisor.

The job of your supervisor is to give you feedback on your research and writing. The problem arises when you and your supervisor, or, in some cases, you and a committee of supervisors, are not on the same page.

You may be one of those prolific writers who get a good start at the beginning. You send in pages and pages of work you have already done, and your supervisors respond to your enthusiasm with their own barrage of feedback. Both parties in this case had good intentions to begin with. However, there are high chances of miscommunication here. After your impressive first run, you find yourself faltering and halting. You don’t know what to do next, and the supervisors’ help, instead of helping you, is overwhelming you. Somewhere along the exchange of information and feedback, the main idea got lost. You need to stop sending your new work to supervisors for some time, and instead brainstorm and outline. If you send in pages of writing, you will get feedback on the writing – this includes technicalities that don’t really further your idea.

It is also possible that you may be one of those procrastinators who aren’t that productive in the beginning. You know what you have to do, and you know how to go about doing it as well, but you just can’t get yourself to do it until the pressure is turned up high. There are many people who work like this. If it’s not a problem for you then there is no requirement to change it; but, it can result in miscommunications with your supervisor. Many students feel that before contacting their supervisor, they need to have some work to show. The procrastinators will not have any “work,” and may avoid contact altogether. This is where things go bad. You should always keep in touch with your supervisor. Don’t let more than a week – or maximum, 2 weeks – go by without exchanging at least an email. Even if you don’t have any work to show, tell your supervisors about ideas you have been thinking about, directions you want to take your research – abstract brainstorming that doesn’t fit neatly into a word processor, but is still essential to your thesis. If you stay in touch with your supervisor, it will be easier to get their help when you really do need it.

Sleep Is Important to Your Career!

Sleep Is Important to Your Career!

Are you getting enough sleep? Many people fall into the trap of thinking that what they are working on now is much more important than sleep. They think that they can make up their sleep anytime, whereas the work must be finished now. This ideology is sure to give you migraines, while not really improving your work quality – perhaps even decreasing it.

The Pulitzer prize-winning author John Steinbeck has this to say about sleep: “It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it.” This is invaluable advice for thesis writers as well. If you are stuck on something deep into the night, you are not likely going to resolve it by staying awake! Allow all the body functions and processes that go hand-in-hand with sleep to do their work, and start again in the morning with a fresh outlook.

If you are not persuaded by all the positive benefits of getting enough sleep each night, then consider the negative effects of not getting enough sleep. Research has proved that cutting back even a few hours of sleep results in irritability, stress and impaired memory. Consistently falling short of 8 hours of sleep a night over a long period of time will weaken your immune system, making you more prone to illness that will take out your productivity for an even longer time, cancelling out whatever time you gained by not sleeping in the first place. See how this works?

Especially relevant to PhD students are the decreased alertness and poorer cognitive performance that result from a sleep-deprived brain. When you are trying to succeed at a PhD level of research, you need all your wits about you, and they need to be sharp. If you find that you can’t think straight after long hours of research, you definitely need to get some sleep in.

Of course when take up such a challenging activity, you will have to make some sacrifices, and sometimes you research just demands that you pull an all-nighter. But your sleep should never be one of those sacrifices, because in the long term, it will do more harm than good. And pulling an all-nighter every now then may be justified – it may even give you an extra charge of energy and determination. Remember, though, that it is not sustainable, and will take a major toll on your body. Never stay up all night for consecutive days in a row. Get some sleep, and try again tomorrow!

Where to Look for Inspiration?

Where to Look for Inspiration?

Your thesis should inspire you. After all, you are embarking on one of the most significant things you will do in your life, barring of course your family life. This is not just an ordinary job, a 9 to 5 that pays the bills. You should be inspired before you start working, but what if you can’t find any inspiration?

Some people seek outside sources to get inspired – that elated feeling that motivates you into being productive. Many watch TED talks, where famous personalities share their worldviews, and obstacles they have overcome to achieve their goals. Others check blogs and news sites diligently, hoping for something that ignites a spark. If you haven’t done these things yet, give them a try. You can watch hundreds of TED talk compilations on Youtube, and find plenty of blogs written by those in the same position as you, sharing their experiences and struggles.

But sometimes you have already visited your common sources of inspiration, but are still not feeling inspired enough. In such cases you can try to look for inspiration internally. Spend some time alone and give priority to introspection. Reflect on how far you’ve come, why you originally made the decision to start your PhD. Try and apply all the different philosophies and advice you have gotten to real life – actually apply it to your own work. In many cases your work itself is the main inspiration, but you may have forgotten to come back to it.

You may hear something or see something that gives you a new idea. But only when you stop and think of your work through this new perspective will the idea come springing to life. People think that if they keep reading articles, browsing books, listening to talks, or meeting people, that they’re going to suddenly get inspired.

The inspiration is not the receiving of information. The inspiration is applying what you’ve received.