Critically analyzing research paper

Before you begin searching for literature, you need a narrowly defined topic. If you are writing the literature review section of a dissertation or research paper, you will search for literature related to your research problem and questions. This is the first step in understanding the state of knowledge on your topic before you begin your own research. If you are writing a literature review as a stand-alone assignment, you will have to choose a focus and develop a central question to direct your search.

Unlike a dissertation research question, this question has to be answerable without collecting or generating new data.

Organize the Review

You should be able to answer it based only on a review of existing publications. Start by creating a list of keywords related to your research topic and question. Some useful databases to search for journals and articles include:. When you find a useful article, check the reference list to find more relevant sources.

1. Basic principles

If the same authors, books or articles keep appearing in your reading, make sure to seek them out. You can find out how many times an article has been cited on Google Scholar — high citation counts mean the article has been influential in the field. You will have to evaluate which sources are most valuable and relevant to your questions. Make sure the sources you use are credible , and make sure you read any landmark studies and major theories in your field of research.

The scope of your review will depend on your topic and discipline: in the sciences you usually only review recent literature, but in the humanities you might take a long historical perspective for example, to trace how a concept has changed in meaning over time.

CRITICAL ANALYSIS

As you read, you should also begin the writing process — take notes that you can later incorporate into the text of your literature review. It is important to keep track of your sources with citations to avoid plagiarism. It can be helpful to make an annotated bibliography, where you compile full citation information and write a paragraph of summary and analysis for each source. This helps you remember what you read and saves time later in the process. You can use our free citation software to quickly create correct and consistent APA citations or MLA format citations.

Scribbr Plagiarism Checker. Based on your reading and notes, you can look for:. This step will help you work out the structure of your literature review and if applicable show how your own research will contribute to existing knowledge. There are various approaches to organizing the body of a literature review.

How to Critically Read Qualitative Research Using These 10 Questions

You should have a rough idea of your strategy before you start writing. Depending on the length of your literature review, you can combine several of these strategies — for example, your overall structure might be thematic, but each theme is discussed chronologically. The simplest approach is to trace the development of the topic over time. However, if you choose this strategy, be careful to avoid simply listing and summarizing sources in order.

Try to analyze patterns, turning points and key debates that have shaped the direction of the field. Give your interpretation of how and why certain developments occurred. If you have found some recurring central themes, you can organize your literature review into subsections that address different aspects of the topic. For example, if you are reviewing literature about inequalities in migrant health outcomes, key themes might include healthcare policy, language barriers, cultural attitudes, legal status, and economic access.

If you draw your sources from different disciplines or fields that use a variety of research methods , you might want to compare the results and conclusions that emerge from different approaches. For example:. A literature review is often the foundation for a theoretical framework. You can use it to discuss various theories, models, and definitions of key concepts. You might argue for the relevance of a specific theoretical approach, or combine various theoretical concepts to create a framework for your research.

Conduct a literature review

Like any other academic text, your literature review should have an introduction , a main body, and a conclusion. What you include in each depends on the objective of your literature review. If you are writing the literature review as part of your dissertation or thesis, reiterate your central problem or research question and give a brief summary of the scholarly context. If you are writing a stand-alone paper, give some background on the topic and its importance, discuss the scope of the literature you will review for example, the time period of your sources , and state your objective.

What new insight will you draw from the literature? Depending on the length of your literature review, you might want to divide the body into subsections. You can use a subheading for each theme, time period, or methodological approach. The example below is taken from the body of a literature review on the relationship between national identity and nature conservation.

This paragraph discusses how humanities scholars have approached the concept of wilderness. Following Cronon, the racial and class politics of wilderness preservation was a theme taken up by several scholars in the late s and early s, who researched the material effects of conservation politics on indigenous and rural Americans Catton ; Spence ; Jacoby The US National Park system became the dominant paradigm for analyzing relations between conservation, nationhood and nationalism.

Recent work has begun to challenge this paradigm and argue for more varied approaches to understanding the socio-political relations between nation and nature. The example combines the thematic and chronological approaches. This section of the literature review focuses on the theme of wilderness, while the paragraph itself is organized chronologically.

In the conclusion, you should summarize the key findings you have taken from the literature and emphasize their significance. If the literature review is part of your thesis or dissertation, show how your research addresses gaps and contributes new knowledge, or discuss how you have drawn on existing theories and methods to build a framework for your research. If you are writing a stand-alone paper, you can discuss the overall implications of the literature or make suggestions for future research based on the gaps you have identified.

Our quick guide to proofreading offers some useful tips and tricks! It's clear, to the point and beautiful source of knowledge.

When do you have to write a literature review?

But i want to further more about the thematic review - its meaning and the process of way of dong it. Wonderful indeed! Time saving and to the point.


  1. Importance of a Good Methodology Section.
  2. research paper on health issues;
  3. Learning to analyze and critically evaluate ideas, arguments, and points of view.
  4. dead poet society essays?

No complexity but simplicity. Data analysis for quantitative studies, on the other hand, involves critical analysis and interpretation of figures and numbers, and attempts to find rationale behind the emergence of main findings.


  1. Current issue 2 / 12222.
  2. Critically Analyzing Information Sources: Critical Appraisal and Analysis!
  3. term papers on algebra?
  4. Critical Reading;
  5. Conduct a literature review | University of Arizona Libraries;
  6. Write a Critical Reaction Paper?
  7. Quick Navigation.

Comparisons of primary research findings to the findings of the literature review are critically important for both types of studies — qualitative and quantitative. Data analysis methods in the absence of primary data collection can involve discussing common patterns, as well as, controversies within secondary data directly related to the research area.

My e-book, The Ultimate Guide to Writing a Dissertation in Business Studies: a step by step assistance offers practical assistance to complete a dissertation with minimum or no stress.

HOW TO ANALYZE JOURNAL ARTICLES: Pivot Article Analysis

The e-book covers all stages of writing a dissertation starting from the selection of the research area to submitting the completed version of the work before the deadline. Main menu Skip to primary content.