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1. Problem Statement
• State clearly the broad problem you wish to solve. Define or identify the general topic,
issue, or area of concern. (NB: You may change the research problem you described in
previous assessment tasks. It is likely that your analysis of the literature will cause you
to rethink your chosen research problem.)
• Point out the following as necessary:
o overall trends in what is known or has been published about the topic;
o conflicts in previous theory, methodology, evidence and conclusions;
o gaps in research and scholarship; and
o a single problem to be solved or a new perspective of immediate interest.
2. Approach
• Explain the method you used for finding, analysing and comparing literature.
• Explain how your analysis of the literature is organised (e.g., by theme, chronologically,
according to results achieved, according to the approach used, etc).
• State what is in and out of scope for your literature analysis:
o types of literature sources;
o topics.
3. Literature Analysis
• Engage with different types of literature as necessary to support your argument (e.g.,
research studies, reviews, theoretical articles, case studies, etc.).
• Unpack themes, highlight major concerns, influential studies, etc., in relation to your
topic.
• Synthesise your findings into a coherent summary of research related to your chosen
problem. In particular, you should not present unrelated, disjoint summaries of the
publications found.
• Focus on areas of agreements, disagreements, tensions and contentious issues related
to your topic.
• Evaluate the current “state of the art” for the body of knowledge reviewed, pointing
out any gaps in research, inconsistencies in theory and findings, and areas or issues
pertinent to future study.
• Use citations to the literature throughout to support your claims. Where appropriate,
include direct quotations from the literature and/or paraphrase previous author’s
arguments.
• Use strong “umbrella” or topic sentences at the beginning of each paragraph, and brief
“so what” summary sentences at intermediate points in the review, so the reader can
IFN600 UNDERSTANDING RESEARCH | ASSIGNMENT 1: LITERATURE ANALYSIS | 2017 4
easily identify the theme or aspect of the theme being described and understand
comparisons and analyses.
4. Conclusions
• Summarise major contributions of significant studies and articles to the body of
knowledge under review, maintaining the focus on the research problem established
in your problem statement.
• Conclude by summing up and identifying the significance of your chosen research
problem in relation to the literature.
• Develop a brief recommendation for future studies into the problem in the context of
the outcomes of your literature analysis.
5. References
• Provide a list of all references cited in the previous sections in a standard referencing
format.
• All the references you cite must be of high quality, typically as evidenced by peer
review.