Literature Review | Explore 11 Different Types of Literature Review

A review generated from the utilization of scholarly sources of information is what a literature review is. Every student sooner or later comes across the phase of writing down a dissertation. Some prefer to take literature review dissertation writing. But others perform the task themselves.

Regardless of what students prefer in this scenario. There are several options for literature review for them to take benefit from. The extensive overview of any topic that contains relevant literature is a widely spread phenomenon. In fact, a boundless one. In the same way as the scholarly references based on those topics. All of these numerous options let students potentially summarize and prove their point in the dissertation.  

In nutshell, the aim is to lower the gaps, strengths, and shortcomings in the paper. The over eventually makes it easy for readers to understand the database appropriately. A concise summary of scholarly papers has the power to add weight to the piece of writing. Various types of reviews own their special status. Read them below. 

Go through 11 dissertation literature reviews

After reading the kinds mentioned here, you will surely have a detailed idea of what these reviews are all about.

1. Critical review

Critical is one of the most common forms of review. It is the one in which the research writer gathers all the valid resources. Go through it and end up forming the most accurate one to present to the reader. Why do we call it critical? Basically, the term depicts the idea of not just reading but also analyzing the collected sources on the topic. It holds immense value for any dissertation due to the weight it adds to the paper.

Do not confuse the term critical with unpleasing remarks. Instead, it backs a critical analysis of the argument. In short, serves the critique with a genuine review so far. All the evaluation makes it different from the rest of the forms of reviews.  Apart from making judgment easy, the critical review also clarifies the test in its true form.

2. Narrative literature review

This has four main components. Namely, general, methodological, theoretical, and historical. What makes it distinguished from other ones are summaries it covers. The narrative review covers the collection of data from journal articles and textbooks to identify the problem. Calling it the most common form wouldn’t be wrong. Since it is one of the easiest ones to move forward.

In fact, also consumes less time to understand. Although a little bit biased. Therefore, authors can be selective when finalizing the evidence to include. But despite being selective. The research in this case should be deep. As well as covers the entire topic too. However, there is no point in following technical methods to locate and evaluate articles in a narrative review.

Read More: Guidelines for writing a Dissertation Literature Review

3. Systematic literature review

A deeply examined version. Systematic review does require multiple sources of database to work upon. They include more than a single form of a database. Moreover, detailed research is to spot strong evidence too. Once all the relevant database is gathered following specific guidelines.

Then the author would be able to conduct either qualitative, quantitative, or the fusion of both as per the need of the paper. Five main types of a systematic review include mixed methods studies. Plus, rapid review, scoping review, narrative review, and meta-analysis. If we talk about uniqueness, then it is dependent on key questions. In fact, initiates from there. Despite all this, the length of the systematic review should not be more than 5500 words.

4. Scoping review

Famous to determine the best course of action in your project. Scoping review in detail means that we need to find out what studies and concepts exist in relation to our topic. This way the review writer would be very clear on what information they need first. Filling the gaps between research and already presented detailed analysis.

The best part of the scoping review is that it covers a comparatively larger and diversified form of literature. In short, pertaining the topic in broader perspectives. Plus, the scoping review also figures out what should include in your research. Especially the plan of executing methodology.  And a list of key questions etc. The number of methods and queries also falls under this category of review.

5. Integrative literature review

The respective review generates new knowledge about the topic. probably that experts have already reviewed before. Including critiques, and remarks with the combination of literature to integrate it in order to analyze new topics. But the sole purpose is also to produce new perspectives on the given topic.

To be more precise, this explains how scientific findings have a relations to existing research. The goal is to understand how the results practically fit together. Furthermore, how they may be relatable as well as applicable can be in the practice. Respective review is quite beneficial for the future too. Mainly in the case of identifying the need for further research and decreasing the gaps between related areas of work. However, it is also essential to stay careful of the threats to validity as well.

6. Meta-analysis

Also known as meta-review, meta-analysis is technically the composed form of research. After gathering the already analyzed sources. Meta-analysis then examines previous research to form valuable conclusions so far. The exciting part about it is the selection of small and concise studies. Then turning them into highly useful ones to produce a broader framework.

Apart from being less time-consuming. This analysis also guarantees a larger image that inculcates shorter studies in it. the end products will make the paper more accurate due to the greater size of working. Evidence on the other hand is the cherry on the top of the cake. It is purely a qualitative method that leads to the final understanding of the subject matter. All after deeply surveying the content from examined quantitative resources.

7. Thematic literature review

The basic aim of a thematic literature review is to first understand the data one has viewed in research. Then move further to categorize them. There is flexibility to either pick just one particular theme. Or rather prefer to select different themes according to the results of your analysis.

What brings the best of it is the access to theme identification. In fact, also signifies the pattern of a specific body of literature too. if there is any review that authorizes penmen to explore similarities and differences between texts, or themes. Then that’s surely a thematic literature review. Helping in maintaining the record of the comparability between each theme and source actually turns the process rewarding.

8. Rapid literature review

Famous for their speedy results, rapid literature reviews take barely five weeks to the completion. It shares a link with a systematic review. In a way of utilizing the previous process to simplify existing information within a given time. As stated above, it helps with timely decision-making. Therefore, quite common in the healthcare sector. The qualitative evidence from the patients’ side helps them grow and make decisions earlier as well as be responsive.

But there is another side of the story too. Which unknowingly welcomes the chances of errors and biases. Here is the elaboration of how. After all, the shorter the process, the better the chances of mistakes. In addition to that, less comprehensive data would also lead to unacceptability. The reason is a lack of detailing or restricted commands.

9. Qualitative synthesis

Self-explanatory as it is. Qualitative synthesis caters to all the qualitative data collection in order to form the research. The thesis writer in this scenario analyzes it to form logical statements.  But the descriptive part has a deep-rooted association with it.

One of the biggest positive sides of it is that qualitative synthesis works when compared with a rival. Or measuring the progress of the competition’s products or services. calling it the summary of non-quantitative information wouldn’t be wrong either. The significance of gathering a large body of literature into a manageable summary is another description of it. Using this concept, a writer gets the ease to uncover the story behind an event. Without trying to put them into specific categories

10. Quantitative synthesis

Utilization of all the figurative data is synonymous with quantitative synthesis. Begins from the systemic search to the examinations of statistical findings is precisely saying. Designs catering to a quantitative approach are Quasi-experimental research. Also correlational research, descriptive, and survey. Lastly, experimental research designs are part of this category.

In contrast to qualitative techniques, this one only prefers numerical and graphical statistics. The selection depends upon the need of the work and the objective. One major thing which distinguishes it from qualitative is that the previous one follows fixed variables. But both are mainly used for their respective tasks depending upon the work.

Read More: 7 Literature Review Methods that Grab you High Marks

11. Mixed-methods synthesis

As stated by the name, the combination of qualitative and quantitative data refers to this type. Mixed method synthesis is a highly rewarding form of synthesis. Mixed-methods analysis is a clear, flexible, and collaborative way to excel in the process. If there is anything that built concerns on this, then that is accessibility to all the relevant studies. Furthermore, having enough time to do the analysis also matters a lot. After all, it doubles the tasks to first research and analyzes. And then extract the joint outcome out of it.

Evaluation of the two data sets separately. Followed by checking of proportional to each methodological section serve great a number of occasions.

Summing up

To achieve the deserving marks in the dissertation. It is essential for the author to first demonstrate what type of literature review is best suitable for the topic. Spotting the rewarding sources comes afterward.

From critical evaluation to supportive guide to comprehensive summary. Literature review leaves no stone unturned in conveying the current set of knowledge via multiple means. Like scholarly papers, journals, articles, books, and more. Selection depends on the type of review one is focusing on. Each and every review carries its own speciality.