Examples of an Empirical Review: Unlike a synoptic literature review, the purpose here is to provide a broad approach to the topic area.
The aim is breadth rather than depth and to get a general feel for the size of the topic area.
At the graduate or doctoral level, the literature review is an essential feature of thesis and dissertation, as well as grant proposal writing.
That is to say, “A substantive, thorough, sophisticated literature review is a precondition for doing substantive, thorough, sophisticated research…A researcher cannot perform significant research without first understanding the literature in the field.” (Boote & Beile, 2005, p. It is by this means, that a researcher demonstrates familiarity with a body of knowledge and thereby establishes credibility with a reader.
As a study of the research on a particular topic, it is arranged by key themes or findings, which may lead up to or link to the research question.
In some cases, the research question will drive the type of literature review that is undertaken.
The literature review is an iterative process because you will do at least two of them: a preliminary search to learn what has been published in your area and whether there is sufficient support in the literature for moving ahead with your subject.
After this first exploration, you will conduct a deeper dive into the literature to learn everything you can about the topic and its related issues.
May require the author to adopt a guiding theory, a set of competing models, or a point of view about a topic.
For more description of integrative reviews, see Whittemore & Knafl (2005).