Literature Review Template
By ‘Author Name’
Affiliation (MSc Profile or Track) & Study no
Say very briefly 1) what the review is about, 2) what the main content is, 3) what the main aim or objectives are, and 4) what the main findings are. End with a strong sentence that highlights the significance of the work presented in the review and any envisioned long-standing contribution to the body of knowledge.
Introduce the general topic or field of the review setting out any advancements and challenges of interest. Then introduce more fully the specific topic addressed in the review and state any main aim or objectives to be met. Say very briefly what is to come in the layout of the review. Note: the Introduction should include general references to back up the points made.
2. Literature Review
This section is a review of a particular area(s) and/or methods that you will require to address your research question. For example, this could be particular theories, (mathematical) tools or solutions from other related areas that could be used to solve the problem.
This section summarises and demonstrates understanding of relevant and important research in the chosen field (15 high quality references).
Briefly discuss and clarify your research topic, what research has been undertaken (draw parallels with research articles in this field). Discuss the different solutions/methods from the articles: are there disadvantages to using them? Why are they appropriate? What other areas can be used to augment the solutions in order to make them more suitable.
As the outcome of the entire literature review is identification of research gap(s) all the reference material should be consistent with the research gap(s) and leading towards it.
This section should be structured in a consistent manner, in presenting the various works of interest and showing understanding of how it all links together. Ensure you cluster the literature appropriately and that papers are consistently related to each other, avoiding stand alone papers.
This section consists of two major parts: analysis (an in-depth analysis based on the previous literature review section) and evaluation (the link between the previous literature review section and your future work – the research gap that you will address through a project proposal).
The section organises and evaluates the research with a flow between articles (article organisation grouped in a systematic manner); it critically reviews existing work, identifies relevant research areas and any opposing views. Links to the research gaps are identified.
The evaluation is a consolidated theoretical position that uses the main points of the review section so that the link to the work is made more explicit. In other words justify how your work uses and adds to the literature reviewed in the previous section.
You also discuss (an aspect of) what you are going to use in order to fill the gap in the knowledge. What areas are to be combined in order to cover the gap in the knowledge?
The conclusions should be written in a precise, unique, clear and accurate manner. Always check that they are well supported by the work you presented in the review/justification section. Check them against the main literature so that you can make a statement about the longer-term impact of your work on the body of knowledge.
Lift the most important conclusions into the Abstract and check that both (Conclusions and Abstract section) are consistent, also check this with the Introduction. This is done because the Abstract, Introduction and Conclusion form the key points of entry and exit into the work and make a big impact on accessibility and getting across the relevance!
List all references consistently, using the Harvard UTS referencing system. A useful link on how to quote and reference properly can be found in the Guide to Harvard UTS referencing from the University of Technology Sydney http://www.lib.uts.edu.au/help/referencing/harvard-uts-referencing-guide .
Most importantly, the author being referred to is given credit through their earlier work, that this is dated to show the chronological order of developments, and that the reader has enough information to find that specific reference. Relative to the latter point: Include the city and country in which the conference was held, and the edition/volume/page numbers of a journal article..
The strongest references are ones that have been reviewed prior to publication (journals for example) and the weakest are web sites and popular publications. Only reputable websites (from a society or major industry player) should be included and the date of access should be noted. Preferably stay away from web references as they are uncontrolled sources of information.
Note: web references, technical reports, standard textbooks, patents etc. do not count towards the number of quality references used. The number of quality references should always greatly outnumber the number of general references. It looks unprofessional to refer to the textbooks and templates of this course.