How to do a literature review: Citation tracing, and concept saturation

by Carter Toni

A literature review is the second chapter of a dissertation. Whenever a student writes a dissertation, he or she conducts a literature review to know the grounds of their research.

“A literature review is the study or analysis of previously held researches on your topic”. A literature review sets the bases for research, it helps the researcher in identifying the gap in those researches so they can continue studying it further, the methodologies to use in research, and the criteria they should set for their data collection.

All the researchers are familiar with the process of writing a literature review which involves the following step;

  • Search the data.
  • Analyze the sources of your found data
  • Identify the research gap and methodologies.
  • Outline your literature review and write it.

The need to write a literature review:

A literature review is written for the following main reasons;

  • To create relativity with the topic.
  • It allows the researcher to forms the hypothesis for their research.
  • Conducting a literature review helps the researcher identifying the aims and objectives and to which extent certain data contributes to the topic.

A non-conventional way to write a literature review:

There is also a non-conventional method to write a literature review and it would be justified to say that this method solves all the issues that occur while writing a literature review. This method of writing a literature review involves three steps that ensure quality and success.

  1. Citation Tracing
  2. Concept Saturation
  3. Result’s Mind Mapping

Step.1 Citation Tracing:

Citation tracing is the act of critically analyzing the sources of your data and keeping track of them. In citation tracing, a researcher compares between the studies that which author has cited which work and in which consistency. This activity allows the researcher to study the relationship between different researches conducted on the same or related topics.

Advantages of citation tracing:

One of the main advantages of citation tracing is that it helps in recognizing the relativity of the data. It also adds quality to your literature review because reading the citations will lead you to quality and relatable content. Lastly, it saves your time, because if a certain data has been written after being inspired by the other article and it has been rightly cited, then there is no need to read the cited content again.

Ways to do citation tracing:

There are two main techniques to do the citation tracing;

Google Scholar backtracking search: When you set the criteria to your search on google by assigning a minimum of two or a maximum of five keywords to your research. The other criteria are for the time limit when you restrict your search for the content to a minimum of two or a maximum of five years.

By doing this kind of backtracking search, you save your time by narrowing down vast results.

Mendeley Keyword search:Mendeley is a free reference management application that acquaints a researcher with tons of references to related data. This saves time and every screaming step to dig to the vast availability of the content.

Step.2 Concept Saturation:

Concept saturation occurs when you are searching for relevant data for your research, and you start seeing the same citations over and over again. This is the point where a researcher finds itself in a “concept saturation” position.

If a researcher notices that a concept saturation has occurred while searching the literature review then it is high time to skip to different sources as it has been overly used or repeated over and over again. Taking care of this step promises the quality of your research, it sets the new expectations of your research.

Step. 3 Result’s mind mapping:

Last but the most important step is to brainstorm all the data that a researcher has gathered from the above two steps. After reading the extensive amount of quality and highly relevant data, it is the step to a mind map that data.

This step is the nectar of the above two steps which allows a researcher to know the proper way to which data to use and who is citing whom. Mind mapping the results also allows you to know the value of your research, like where it stands and how much will it contribute to the topic. Mind Mapping is a tough task but there isa bundle of software available online that could do the deed for you.

Final Verdict!

It is a known fact that nowadays, the services of thesis writing UK are at their peak and this strategy is also being adopted by the renowned Ph.D. thesis help services providers. These steps were inspired by their services, which proves that by following such critical steps, the best literature review can be written.

These steps not only help in writing an effective literature review but also helps you in identifying the quality of the topic, which is the ultimate win for the researchers.

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