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How I Currently Write A Literature Review Report

How I currently write a literature review report

I have written a fair amount of literature review reports and review papers over the past years. For the literature review report, I currently use the following strategy:

  • Gathering references: I start by collecting references on the topic, with a focus on existing review articles (if any), as well as the most-cited and most recent papers.
  • Reading: I start by reading some of the references. I like reading on my tablet and I will use highlighting, underlining, and note-taking on the papers. I don’t read all papers to the same level of detail.
  • Developing structure of report: After reading the first papers, and as a function of the research questions, I set up the structure of the report. Typically, I organize chapters around theoretical work, experimental work, and other broad topics. Then, I make subdivisions.
  • Read, then process: I continue reading the references, and now try to process these right into the document. Most of the time, I will copy-paste my highlighted passages of text into the document.
  • Write: With the references and important parts already in the right place, I then will write the document. Usually, my first writing is paraphrasing and summarizing the highlighted passages. I end up with an annotated bibliography with the parts of the text already in the right structure.
  • Condense: Then, I will bring findings from various articles together, so that the whole document start to read more like an actual literature review.
  • Rewrite: Usually, a final rewrite of the text is necessary to make it all flow.
  • Discuss and summarize: I usually wait until the end to write my discussion and summary chapters.

How do you write a literature review report?

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