KIN: Reviewing the Literature


In his KIN 498 class, Mark often heard
terms such as “review the literature” or “literature review.” At first, he was a
little confused by these terms. If he needed to do a literature review, did he need
to find novels related to exercise science? Mark soon learned that in the
academic world, the term “literature” is often used to describe the collective
body of scholarly works related to a topic. The literature usually consists of
articles published in academic peer-reviewed journals, such as The
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. So when Mark was told he needed
to review the literature, this meant that he needed to find previously published
scholarly resources relevant to his topic. Mark learned that there were
several reasons to conduct a literature review. Looking at previously published
scholarly sources helped him to increase his own knowledge on the topic. It helped
to keep him up to date on current trends and major findings relates to his
interests. He was able to identify any areas of agreement or disagreement among
scholars related to his topic. And it helped him to identify directions for
his own research by allowing him to see the problems or questions related to his
topic that needed additional research. Mark found that he was usually required
to include a segment in his own research papers where he summarized the previous
literature on his topic and showed how it was connected to his own research.
Mark also learned that in some cases the term “literature review” is used to refer
to a specific type of scholarly article. In a literature review article, which is
also sometimes called a systematic review, the author does not conduct their
own research study. Instead the author summarizes and analyzes previous
research on the topic. For example, the author might review 20 research articles
on a topic in order to determine what conclusions can be drawn by combining
the findings of all of them together. To sum up, in the academic world, literature
is a term often used to refer to all of the previous scholarly works on a topic.
For anyone conducting a research study reviewing the literature is an important
part of the research process

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