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MDSC1102: Literature review

A guide to assist MDSC1002 students to conduct a literature review for the grant application assignment.

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The purpose of a literature review 

Reviewing the existing literature on a topic allows the student/researcher to:

  • Understand and summarise the major ideas on a subject
  • Show an awareness of the scope of research that has already been conducted on a topic
  • Emphasise influential research studies 
  • Identify new and emerging knowledge in an area
  • Highlight gaps in the research where new research activity may be warranted. 

The quality of the literature review depends largely on the literature search that underpins it. The search for existing literature should therefore be: 

  • Systematic by following a logical, rather than random, process
  • Transparent so that it might be reproduced
  • Comprehensive in that it uses the best sources for identifying relevant research literature for the topic in question. 

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