Literature review

A literature review enables you to identify the various concepts (ideas) that are relevant to your topic and to describe those which are important. Depth and subtlety are often a result of the relationships amongst concepts. Your description should therefore explain those relationships where they are relevant to your line of reasoning. It should also compare and contrast the differing ideas and meanings that are uncovered in this way. The literature review therefore enables you to define the boundary of your topic and to find the puzzles (or gaps) that lie within it. It is these puzzles which are your potential research questions.
Note: See my postings on ‘theory’ and ‘variable concepts’ for a reminder of what we mean by a concept and how we use concepts to explain the meaning of things.