What is a literature review?
All degree projects begin with a literature review. In this step, you search for and read relevant articles in your field of study. The purpose is:
- To give an overview of the “big issues” in a field of study
- To summarize other people’s work
- To evaluate other people’s work
- To provide a context for your work
- To identify gaps
- To develop an understanding of theories and methods used in the field of study
The articles you read are then summarized in your report. When summarizing an article, the following questions shall be answered:
- What were the aims and objectives?
- What were the outcomes of the work?
- What approaches/methods/strategy were used?
- In what context was the work conducted?
- What was its contribution to the field of study?
- What connection does it have to the problem I plan to investigate?
After conducting the literature review you have learned what is going on in the field of study. You will learn why the topic is important, who it is important for and how other people approached problems in the field (what methods they used). You will also find out what is different in your project compared to the work of others, and what contribution your project will have to the field of study. This helps you motivate why your project is interesting and define what is new and novel.