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How To Write A Critical Literature Review?

How To Write A Critical Literature Review
Published on 22 February 2022 by Shona McCombes, Revised on 7 June 2022. What is a literature review? A literature review is a survey of scholarly sources on a specific topic. It provides an overview of current knowledge, allowing you to identify relevant theories, methods, and gaps in the existing research. There are five key steps to writing a literature review:

  1. Search for relevant literature
  2. Evaluate sources
  3. Identify themes, debates and gaps
  4. Outline the structure
  5. Write your literature review

A good literature review doesn’t just summarise sources – it analyses, synthesises, and critically evaluates to give a clear picture of the state of knowledge on the subject. Tip We’ve also compiled a few examples, templates, and sample outlines for you below.

What is the difference between literature review and critical review?

Critical review embraces the idea of evaluating a particular work through pointing out its weakness and strength, merits and meritsetc. Literature view, on the other hand, is concerned with presenting general information about the previous studies that tackled the same topic under question.

What is the basic structure of a critical review?

Critique – The critique should be a balanced discussion and evaluation of the strengths, weakness and notable features of the text. Remember to base your discussion on specific criteria. Good reviews also include other sources to support your evaluation (remember to reference). You can choose how to sequence your critique. Here are some examples to get you started:

  • Most important to least important conclusions you make about the text.
  • If your critique is more positive than negative, then present the negative points first and the positive last.
  • If your critique is more negative than positive, then present the positive points first and the negative last.
  • If there are both strengths and weakness for each criterion you use, you need to decide overall what your judgement is. For example, you may want to comment on a key idea in the text and have both positive and negative comments. You could begin by stating what is good about the idea and then concede and explain how it is limited in some way. While this example shows a mixed evaluation, overall you are probably being more negative than positive.
  • In long reviews, you can address each criterion you choose in a paragraph, including both negative and positive points. For very short critical reviews (one page or less), where your comments will be briefer, include a paragraph of positive aspects and another of negative.
  • You can also include recommendations for how the text can be improved in terms of ideas, research approach; theories or frameworks used can also be included in the critique section.

Does a critical review need an introduction?

A short critical review should have a brief introduction, simply providing the subject of the research and the author, and outlining the structure you will be using. The simplest way to structure a critical review is to write a paragraph or two about each section of the study in turn.

Does a critical review have a thesis?

NROC Developmental English Foundations Creating a Thesis and an Outline for a Critical Analysis Essay

Learning Objectives:

  • Write a thesis statement for a multi-page critical analysis essay that presents an opinion about a text’s effectiveness.
  • Outline a multi-page critical analysis essay that examines how successful a text is at conveying its message and purpose using evidence from the readings as support.

LESSON Many college courses, including psychology, literature, philosophy, microbiology, and history, require large amounts of reading. Your instructor may assess your understanding and analysis To analyze is to make a thoughtful and detailed study of something.

  • An analysis is the end result of analyzing.
  • Of a text Words that make up a book, essay, article, poem, or speech.
  • Through an exam; however, you may also be required to write an essay A short piece of writing that focuses on at least one main idea.
  • Some essays are also focused on the author’s unique point of view, making them personal or autobiographical, while others are focused on a particular literary, scientific, or political subject.

that measures your understanding and opinion Point of view that shows a personal belief or bias and cannot be proven to be completely true. of a chapter or article A non-fiction, often informative writing that forms a part of a publication, such as a magazine or newspaper.

Sometimes these are assignments that ask you to assess the effectiveness of an author A person who wrote a text. ‘s work, or how well he or she has made a case. Keep in mind that the idea of a work’s “effectiveness” is subjective because it is based upon your opinion of the author’s success. In other words, it is possible that you and a classmate or colleague might disagree about the effectiveness of a specific text Words that make up a book, essay, article, poem, or speech.

This is not uncommon; sometimes there is no “right” answer. For this reason, it is important that you thoroughly understand the text and then provide sound reasoning for your opinions. In this lesson, you will learn how to develop a thesis statement A brief statement that identifies a writer’s thoughts, opinions, or conclusions about a topic.

Thesis statements bring unity to a piece of writing, giving it a focus and a purpose. You can use three questions to help form a thesis statement: What is my topic? What am I trying to say about that topic? Why is this important to me or my reader? for a critical analysis essay and how to create a corresponding outline A preliminary plan for a piece of a writing, often in the form of a list.

It should include a topic, audience, purpose, thesis statement, and main and supporting points. using evidence Facts, statistics, or expert testimony that supports a claim. to support your thesis An overall argument, idea, or belief that a writer uses as the basis for a work.

Develop a Thesis Statement Since the purpose of a critical analysis essay is to assess the effectiveness of a text at its most basic level, your thesis statement should refer to the text that you are analyzing and express whether you think that text is effective or not. Remember, you are looking at the extent to which a text successfully produces the outcome or result it was meant to produce.

Therefore, the first step in developing your thesis statement is to identify what the author wanted to accomplish. The second step is to assess the author’s success in doing so.

  • Here are two examples of critical analysis thesis statements covering the same text. This thesis statement affirms the effectiveness of the author’s work:
  • In Capitalism in the Twenty-First Century, Thomas Piketty successfully argues that without government intervention, the gap between the rich and the poor will continue to grow because of an economic system that favors earnings on investments over earnings on labor.
  • Conversely, this thesis statement is critical of the author’s effectiveness:
  • Thomas Picketty’s book, Capitalism in the Twenty-First Century, does an excellent job of demonstrating how wealth continues to grow through investments, but fails to provide evidence that this favorable growth keeps people from moving from the lower class to the upper class through determination and hard work.
  • Develop an Outline
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The next step to writing a critical analysis essay is to develop an outline. In addition to outlining the body, or supporting paragraphs A selection of a writing that is made up of sentences formed around one main point. Paragraphs are set apart by a new line and sometimes indentation.

  • You should provide a brief summary A brief restatement of an author’s main idea and major supporting details.
  • Summaries are factual and should be written in the third-person with an objective point of view.
  • Of the text you are evaluating in the background Information that describes the history or circumstances of a topic.

portion of your introduction The first paragraph of an essay. It must engage the reader, set the tone, provide background information, and present the thesis. This will give your readers the context The larger setting in which something happens; the “big picture.” they need to assess your analysis, which is especially important if they have not read the text you are evaluating.

  1. In the supporting paragraphs, you should use the MEAL concept An acronym that describes a method of organizing the paragraphs in an essay.
  2. Under this plan, each paragraph should have a M ain point, E vidence, A nalysis, and a L ink to the next paragraph.
  3. To outline the main idea The most important or central thought of a reading selection.

It also includes what the author wants the reader to understand about the topic he or she has chosen to write about., evidence, analysis, and link To connect ideas together within a paragraph or to create a transition from one paragraph to the next, as well as back to the thesis.

MEAL Main Idea: your topic sentence A sentence that contains the controlling idea for an entire paragraph and is typically the first sentence of the paragraph., identifying one of the supporting claims A statement that something is true, such as the thesis of an essay. A successful writer must present evidence to prove his/her claim.

for the thesis. Evidence: facts A piece of information that can be proven. Something that is true and indisputable., expert Someone who is very knowledgeable about a topic. opinion, or anecdotal evidence A brief, interesting story that supports a claim in a critical analysis or persuasion essay.

proving that the claim described in the topic sentence is true. Analysis: explaining how the evidence supports the topic sentence. Link: a transition Tying two events, passages, or pieces of information together in a smooth way. In writing, transitions are sometimes called links. from the paragraph, as well as back to the thesis.

In the essay, you need to use pieces of the original text as your evidence. If you think the text is effective, identify portions of the text that demonstrate its effectiveness; likewise, if you think the text is ineffective, identify portions of the text that demonstrate its ineffectiveness.

  1. In your analysis, you will explain why each portion supports your claim that the evidence contributes to the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of the entire text.
  2. Eep in mind that you may have more than one piece of evidence or analysis for each of your main points, so your supporting paragraphs may look like MEEAL or MEAAL, or other combinations of evidence and analysis.

Finally, you should outline your conclusion The end portion of a writing that contains a summary or synthesis of the idea in the work. This includes a recap of key points and reminders of the author’s purpose and thesis statement. In this paragraph, you need to bring all the parts of the essay together in the synthesis and create a strong final impression for the reader.

  1. Introductory Paragraph
  2. Body Paragraphs
    1. Main Point I
    2. Main Point II
    3. Main Point III
  3. Concluding Paragraph
    1. Synthesis
    2. Final Impression

Whether it is for a school assignment or a work task, developing the skill of outlining an essay is important. The bigger the assignment, the more important an outline becomes. Writing an outline requires you to closely examine your assignment or task and understand what is being asked of you; it also helps you organize your thoughts, stay on task, and explain your reasoning to others.

  • Imagine that you are working for a large hospital system, and are reviewing two different proposals for upgrading the hospital’s technology system.
  • You will need to evaluate the strengths of each proposal and report back to the larger leadership council on which proposal makes its case more effectively and should be implemented.

If you do this successfully, the hospital will have a superior technology system that meets its needs. Your efforts at ensuring the success of the hospital will also make it more likely that you will be asked to take on important tasks in the future, increasing your chances for promotion.

The text below is an example of the kind of writing you might be assigned in one of your courses. Read the text and then review the sample thesis and outline of a critical analysis of the text that follows. From “The Case for Recess” by Linda Acri in Chicago Family Weekly Under pressure to improve student grades, many schools have cut back on recess, or even dropped it altogether.

How to Write a Literature Review: 3 Minute Step-by-step Guide | Scribbr ?

This is shortsighted and potentially dangerous, since studies show that unstructured play promotes educational, social, emotional, and creative development. It may seem logical that more time in the classroom leads to better grades, but research suggests that recess is also important for academic success.

  • Switching between structured and unstructured activities refreshes the brain and enhances its ability to store new information.
  • Too much time spent on one type of task reduces the amount of information a child can absorb, while occasional breaks from schoolwork improve concentration.
  • The positive effects of recess go beyond grades into expanding the social and personal skills of children.

Recess gives children time to talk and connect with one another, which strengthens their communication skills and puts them at ease with school and their peers. Free time at school can help children develop persistence and self-control. Creative skills are boosted when kids plan and design their own games and activities.

If we want schools to help children not just learn but also grow as people, we must provide them with time each day just to be kids. In his 2012 study “Sedentary Children are Blue, Bored, and Belligerent,” Doctor Mark Phillips of the Main Hospital demonstrates that children need exercise, fresh air, sunlight, daily interaction with peer groups, and time at school during which they aren’t being told what to do.

Otherwise, they become “tired, bored, depressed, angry, antisocial, and unfocused.” Phillips goes on to say that “schools must take responsibility for what is happening to children,” and even suggests that the elimination of recess “borders on criminal.” Recess is also important because many children don’t have the opportunity or inclination to play outside when the school day ends.

  • Some participate in sedentary after-school programs like tutoring or arts and crafts.
  • Others go right home, but stay indoors watching electronic entertainment or doing homework rather than playing tag in the yard or throwing around a ball.
  • Many parents don’t let their children roam their neighborhood the way they themselves once did.
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Due to both real and imagined dangers, few adults are comfortable letting their children play outside, particularly in urban neighborhoods or after dark. When I talked with one mother, she told me, “It’s just not safe to let them go outside. Look at all the child abductions on television!” We must help our children to thrive in all the ways they should.

School administrators, city councilmen, and parents, think back to your childhood. Remember when you could barely sit still at your desk, filled with gleeful anticipation of schoolyard games, friend time, freedom from the stuffy classroom air, and the opportunity to rest your mind and pencil-gripping hands? Let’s give kids a break.

Bring back recess! After reviewing the above text, the next step is to write a thesis statement for a critical analysis of the text. Once you have determined your thesis, you should create your responses, ideas, and thoughts to create an outline evaluating the text.

  1. Introductory Paragraph
    1. Hook: While having tablets, electronic chalkboards, and more intense learning environments in schools might thrill some parents, there really is no substitute for permitting children to play like children.
    2. Background: Acri’s article sets forth the current problem of schools cutting back student recess time and the importance of recess in a child’s educational, psychological, emotional, and intellectual development and overall life.
    3. Thesis: Linda Acri’s article, “A Case for Recess,” successfully makes a convincing and persuasive argument for why we must fight for our children’s recess time.
  2. Body Paragraphs
    1. Main Point #1: Acri skillfully undermines the argument that focusing on class work alone is the key to improving school performance, including the use of an authoritative source.
      1. Evidence: Acri points out that “switching between structured and unstructured activities refreshes the brain and enhances its ability to store new information.”
      2. Evidence: Acri cites a study by Doctor Mark Phillips that describes how children become “tired, bored, depressed, angry, antisocial, and unfocused” without recess.
      3. Analysis: The argument is effective because it takes a popular idea and refutes it with strong evidence.
      4. Link: Further, the evidence suggests that the benefits go beyond schoolwork.
    2. Main Point #2: She broadens her argument by describing additional benefits of recess.
      1. Evidence: Recess develops skills such as communication, persistence, and self control that not only improve academic achievement but also help children improve their social, emotional, and creative skills.
      2. Analysis: This argument is powerful because it shows that eliminating recess harms not just grades but personal growth.
      3. Link: More and more, society expects schools to not only teach but also to help raise children: in order to help children learn life skills we must provide them with time each day just to be kids.
    3. Main Point #3: She links the importance of recess to broader realities of contemporary life.
      1. Evidence: Many children don’t have the opportunity to play outside after school.
      2. Evidence: One mother told Acri, “It’s just not safe to let them go outside. Look at all the child abductions on television!”
      3. Analysis: Her argument appeals to many readers because it includes a number of scenarios, at least one of which is probably relevant to almost everyone.
      4. Link: She shines a spotlight on the fact that most children are not able to enjoy the freedom to play and explore the way their parents did.
  3. Concluding Paragraph
    1. Synthesis: Acri’s argument about the importance of recess in nearly all areas of child development and happy living convinces the reader to fight for unstructured play time in schools.
    2. Final Impression: We must encourage schools to recognize the needs of children to exercise, socialize, and rest their brains, and to once again see recess as a benefit rather than a hindrance to academic progress.

Read the text below. After reading it, write an appropriate thesis statement for an essay evaluating the text, followed by an outline of this evaluation. From “Employers Violate Civil Liberties Over Online Videos and Posts” by Lionel Burnett; Opinion Section, New York Weekly Post If you aren’t hooked up online then you might as well be nonexistent.

Your online presence is basically who you are today. It’s a fundamental right to be who and what you want to be online as much as it is in “real” life. Social media has really changed how people relate to one another. We don’t have to see people face-to face anymore. We can work long hours or live far apart and still keep up with the life events, celebrations, trials, and tribulations of friends and family.

With a couple swipes of the finger on a tablet, I can find out who your friends are, where you go to school, who you work for, and what music you listen to. I can even find out what world city you should live in or what type of animal best describes your personality from the quizzes you post! Through our profiles—the photos, comments, and stories we post—we get to decide how the world sees us.

  1. It’s a lot of fun! But sadly, opening our lives to the world can also cause us big, big trouble.
  2. My friend Aaron was a teacher at a local school.
  3. He’s also a guy who loves hunting.
  4. He stopped talking to people at work about his hobby after his boss took him aside and said that it was “inappropriate to discuss such matters in this environment, particularly given recent incidents.

We don’t want to scare the children or parents.” Then last week, Aaron posted a few pictures of his latest hunting trip online, along with a video of him showing his eleven-year-old son how to properly load, fire, and unload a shotgun. All his friends thought that it was awesome that he spent time with his son while teaching him gun safety.

But then the video went viral, and the principal and superintendent at Aaron’s school heard about it. They called him in, and they fired him! They said he’d been warned, and that posting the video was irresponsible. Aaron was fired even though he never signed a contract or committed to any guidelines around using social media.

It isn’t right and it isn’t fair. Not long ago I had to sign a “social responsibility” statement for my job. The contract requires employees to review the policies and standards of the organization and exercise good judgment online. Human Resources has also issued a ludicrous one-strike rule.

This new policy states that if we post something that reflects poorly on the industry, the company, or any employees, we must either a) deactivate our online accounts or b) change our profile names so no one will know where we work. If we refuse, we will be fired. This is a violation of civil liberties! No piece of paper I am forced to sign is going to change what I choose to do online.

No company has the right to tell an employee how to behave in his or her personal life. I fail to see why our Internet lives should be any different than real life. My boss goes out partying every night, but he didn’t have to sign a contract saying he would watch what he says or does in a bar.

  1. If he tries to fire me for posting things online, I will see to it that he gets dismissed for being so irresponsible and partying all night.
  2. Of all of the employees, I guess I am the most upset about this.
  3. All of my coworkers signed the new contract without complaining.
  4. They aren’t all that interested in talking to Human Resources with me either.
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I will serve as the lone advocate for this important cause without them. I will see to it that these companies stop violating our civil liberties by limiting our vital online presence! Now, write a thesis statement that evaluates the text. While entertaining, Lionel Burnett’s “Employers Violate Civil Liberties Over Online Videos and Posts” fails to successfully argue that employer requests for decent online behavior from employees is a violation of civil liberties.

  1. Introductory Paragraph
    1. Hook: One-sided and filled with biases, Burnett’s article, “Employers Violate Civil Liberties Over Online Videos and Posts,” reads more like an ill-informed rant than a newsworthy opinion piece.
    2. Background: This newspaper article is an opinion piece regarding the importance of social media in today’s culture and how employer involvement and concern over employee online activity is unfair and unlawful.
    3. Thesis: While entertaining, Lionel Burnett’s “Employers Violate Civil Liberties Over Online Videos and Posts” fails to successfully argue that employer requests for decent online behavior from employees are a violation of civil liberties.
  2. Body Paragraphs
    1. Main Point #1: Burnett assumes that most people agree with him regarding the importance of an online presence and profiles in cultivating an active social life.
      1. Evidence: Burnett claims that interpersonal activities are no longer necessary because we can find out everything we want or need to know about everyone online.
      2. Analysis: Burnett fails to take into account that many people are not active online and still value meeting their family and friends in person.
      3. Link: Focusing only on his own positive views of social media, Burnett blatantly ignores that what people post online has the potential to harm others.
    2. Main Point #2: Burnett appears to feel that online actions should have no real life consequences.
      1. Evidence: Burnett is shocked that Aaron was fired from his position as a schoolteacher after sharing information involving guns, even though he had been warned about doing so.
      2. Analysis: The school has an interest in seeing that its employees do not post online material that may reflect poorly on its staff and upset parents.
      3. Link: Similarly, Burnett’s employer is not acting unlawfully by requesting that its employees be mindful about their online practices.
    3. Main Point #3: Employers are within their rights to expect decent behavior from employees—both online and offline.
      1. Evidence: Human Resources asked its employees to sign a social media contract and although Burnett claims to be vehemently opposed, he went along with it.
      2. Analysis: If Burnett is such an advocate for online legal freedoms, why did he sign the social media contract rather than finding a new job with a company that doesn’t require such a contract?
      3. Link: While Burnett makes an interesting point about his boss—that company expectations regarding online and offline social behaviors are not consistent—he offers no real evidence to support his argument that his employers, or Aaron’s for that matter, acted unlawfully (or even unreasonably).
  3. Concluding Paragraph
    1. Synthesis: Although Burnett’s commentary highlights some trends in social interactions in this country, i.e., a moving away from live interpersonal contact to a more virtual reality, it falls short of supporting his claim that employers violate civil liberties over online videos and posts.
    2. Final Impression: Burnett offers no facts, just his opinion and personal outrage, on what’s becoming a common human resources requirement: the social media contract.

How does creating an outline help you develop an effective critical analysis essay? Developing an outline helps me organize my ideas before I get started on writing my first draft. This saves me time and energy, keeping the first draft more focused than if I just start writing without any plan.

Why do you need to reference portions of the text to demonstrate its effectiveness or lack of effectiveness? You need to reference portions of the text to demonstrate its effectiveness or lack of effectiveness because summaries, paraphrases, and quotes from the text illustrate the writer’s actual arguments.

The specific words and ideas of the writer are what your arguments and reasoning around the essay’s effectiveness are based upon. Referencing the text provides evidence to support your own writing and also provides your own reader with the original text to go back and review.

What are the 5 Cs explained?

What is the 5C Analysis? – 5C Analysis is a marketing framework to analyze the environment in which a company operates. It can provide insight into the key drivers of success, as well as the risk exposure to various environmental factors. The 5Cs are Company, Collaborators, Customers, Competitors, and Context.

What are the 5 Cs definitions?

What are the 5 Cs of credit? – Lenders score your loan application by these 5 Cs—Capacity, Capital, Collateral, Conditions and Character. Learn what they are so you can improve your eligibility when you present yourself to lenders.

  1. Capacity. To evaluate capacity, or your ability to repay a loan, lenders look at revenue, expenses, cash flow and repayment timing in your business plan. They also look at your business and personal credit reports, as well as credit scores from credit bureaus such as Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. This is because the way a person handles personal credit and their own credit cards often shows how he or she will manage business credit. Another important metric is debt-to-income ratio, or DTI, which describes your outstanding debt compared to how much you earn. The lower your DTI, the better your liquidity, and the more likely you’ll keep up with timely payments.
  2. Capital. To get a line of credit, you’ll need to show that you have capital—some of your own money or money from partners—that you can put toward startup or acquisition costs. Think of it as a down payment to show you’re serious and capable.
  3. Collateral. If you fall behind on loan payments, financial institutions want to make sure you have collateral, or another source of repayment for the loan. Your loan application should include real estate or other things that could be sold if you fall behind on debt payments.
  4. Conditions. Lenders want to be sure there’s a market for your business. Make sure your business plan proves that you will be successful based on economic conditions, competition, industry type and your history as a small business owner.
  5. Character. This includes your education history, business background and personal credit history. Include any references or other information about your financial situation. It helps if you and your staff have a good reputation in your industry.