Literature Review


According to the STUDY MATERIAL (35) the purpose of literature review is to share the findings of the research with others and in that way, add to the existing body of scientific knowledge. That is to establish what are the already existing studies, how those relate to each other, to what extend the existing study have been investigated and then develop new study.Thus research contributes to the understanding of the world around us”.

As it is meant to find out what information already exist in one’s field of study, makes a confident researcher, the one that appreciates and considers effort made by other authors in the field. This means that he or she will not give the impression that he or she is alone or the first to conduct the topic of the chosen study. To add more on this Torroco (2016:411) identified five goals and purposes of integrative literature review and those are: (a) review, update and critique the literature review; (b) conduct meta-analysis of the literature review(c) review critique, and synthesize the literature (d) conceptualize the topic reviewed in the literature (e) answer a specific question about the topic reviewed in the literature. Below the discussion on the goals/objectives/purposes of the literature review will be dealt in details with the emphasis on why is it important.

Literature review lays foundation to any research study

Whether the study is new or not there is a need for it to be reviewed to state what is presented within the scope of the reviewed study.A good Literature review builds a strong foundation of the research study because it is comprehensive, critical and contextualized.Boote and Beile (2005) in Merten (2015:90) indicated that, “literature review is a foundation of any research project, and it should accomplish several important objectives. It sets broad context of the study, clearly demarcates what is and what is not within the scope of investigation and justifies those decision…it reports the claims made in the existing literature as well as examining critically the research methods used to better understand whether the claims are warranted. This means the reader will be provided with a theory based, a survey of published works that pertain to one’s investigation, and analysis of the work. It is a factual critical overview of what has gone before. It contains the body of work previously published by other scholars only.

Literature review improve the value and quality of knowledge on the study being reviewed

This can be shown by providing critical analysis on how well the study is presented in already existing study. Toroco (2016:411) called this purpose a “review, update and critique of the literature. According to him literature reviews are expected to enhance knowledge on the topic beyond what is contained in the original literature sources……critical analysis of the literature identifies its strengths and weaknesses as well as any deficiencies or contradictions among literature review.

Literature review helps the researcher to identify gaps

In the process of reviewing the literature, the researcher may find gaps and limitations of the theories used and points of view. With those gaps he or she is free to search/ find information to formulate new research study that is new research question and or statement of the problem. By doing so the researcher will be successfully close identified gaps found in other studies. Those gaps might be caused by the context and time the studies were carried out. For example the study might have been conducted on issues relating to HIV/AIDS and targeting group being adults. When the study on the same issue conducted but with different group for example youth, the prior study would justify his or her work with this different group. It is important that before taking any step of research to review the field, this show the researcher does not only know the work in his or her field he/she knows how to access information around it use it relevant situation.

Literature review helps in identifying the reasons for the need for new study

According to Mertens (2015:90) researchers can easily identify the need for their own studies by using the literature review. Some of the rational for one’s study might emerge from the reviewing of the literature. Example of those can be lack of consistency in report results across the studies the researcher has chosen to reviewed and undertake research to explore basis of

Literature review associates prospective authors with other authors working in the same field of study

The main idea here is that, no one can work alone to achieve a certain goal, there should be other people to consider to build a strong argument on what one is working on. With literature review, it is easy to get in touch with them, and by finding them maximizes the number of references in the improvement of the new study to be conducted. Again it may help to minimize unnecessary repetition of other studies in the same study.

Literature review safes time and money

Every research study has cost implications and time consuming, with the literature review the researcher is able to avoid unnecessary waste of time in researching something that has been already dealt with in previous studies.The fact that literature review is made in the beginning of the process it quickly helps the researcher to identify that he/ she is building on the foundation of other existing ideas. Again Carrying on from where other researchers laid plays a great role in reducing cost that might be incurred unnecessarily.

Literature review is a tool to build rapport with people the people the study concern

In the process of writing the study on a particular topic the researcher is willing to raise awareness on, other people of importance. In reviewing the literature, the researcher has a great advantage of creating a good relationship with other people concerned. This can also ease ways to meet the people who can be the sample on one’s study.It can also make the author to get in touch with the people that may implement what the research study can come up with in the end.Torroco (2016:405) called those people the audience and according to him they can be categorized as scholars (general scholars or those specific to a discipline or specialization) practitioners or policy makers or the public in general.

Literature review helps the researcher to take a neutral stance

Most studies if not all, are done to address the arising problem within the world continent, region, country and others. This means there will be people affected by the study either by the influence the study made to change the related policies. In this regard the researcher needs to avoid the situation whereby findings in the study may be influenced by his or her feelings. With literature review he or she has the advantage of keeping neutral stance because the study will involve views from different authors. As for Torroco (2016:405) the perspective characteristics of Cooper’s taxonomy address whether the author has taken neutral perspective on how the literature is reviewed and discussed, or the author espouses a position or point of view that may influence the review and