By Gordon Rugg
Almost every academic article begins with a literature review. As is often the case in academia, this is a rich, sophisticated art form, whose complexities are often invisible to novices. As is also often the case in academia, there are usually solid, sensible reasons for those complexities. As you may already have guessed, these reasons are usually not explained to students and other novices, which often leads to massive and long-lasting misunderstandings.
This article looks at the nature and purpose of literature reviews. It also looks at some forms of literature review which are not as widely known as they should be.
It’s quite a long article, so here’s a picture of a couple of cats as a gentle start.