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How to Give Overview of Existing Research Related to Your Topic

Introduction

STOP right here if you are searching for guidelines about writing an overview of existing research. Current knowledge of the field is the backbone of any type of research. It is extremely important to talk about the existing knowledge because it makes your research more authentic. But such a thing does not come easy. Writing an overview of existing research is a very hectic task. You have to read tons of information to support your point of view. Today’s article is all about how to link the already present knowledge to your topic. Besides, there will be guidelines on writing it nicely and perfectly. So, stop right here and do not go anywhere else. Let’s start our discussion with the following question:

What Is The Overview Of The Study?

            Before linking any research with the existing research, giving an overview of the study is very important. The overview of the study also means an introduction to the research. In this part, you talk about your research objectives and goals. All the contextual definitions and background of the research also come under this section.

            The overview section involves a contextual explanation of your thesis statement. Basically, it is the introduction chapter of your topic of research. You talk about the background of the study in relation to your research objectives. Keeping the research objectives in mind is very important in this section. You should not stray away from your topic. Facts and figures back all the information in the overview section. For example, your topic of research is waste management. This topic will talk about the percentage of waste being produced daily. Such a knowledge will form the basis of your research study and provide an effective evidence-based overview of the study. However you have an option to get dissertation writing services if you are facing any issue in the research.

            After writing the overview of the study, there comes the main challenge. It is writing the overview of existing research. This overview is not an easy thing to compose. You have to burn the midnight oil to find the relevant research. Once found, extracting the relevant information is also challenging. Thus, you need to equip yourself with some guidelines that can help you. A brief description of the top guidelines that can assist you in writing an overview of existing research is as follows:

1.      Select papers carefully

The first step in writing an overview of the current knowledge is to narrow your topic down. The narrower your topic will be, the more effectively you can relate to the existing research. It is necessary to direct your energies in one direction and move ahead. Otherwise, you may lose the right path and find yourself stranded in the middle of nowhere. This technique of narrowing down your topic also allows you to select the relevant papers only.

            For example, instead of searching for waste management as a whole, you should search about waste management in the UK. It is more specific and narrow and can bring you more effective results. So, while writing an overview of existing research, start by narrowing down your topic.

2.      Search for literature

Once you are done with narrowing your topic, it is time to begin searching. In a PhD research, you do not have much time. Therefore, right after choosing an area, you should start searching for the relevant data. Many a time, you may encounter trouble while looking for the data. In such cases, you should use keywords to search for the existing research. Keywords are very helpful in bringing good results.

3.      Select and read

The search for literature ends at selecting the best and most relevant papers. The next step is to read all the papers and investigate them in depth. Try to find some patterns and links in the selected research papers. They will help you write the overview of the existing research very effectively. While reading the selected papers, you must look for the following things:

  • Assumptions that the researchers of those papers made in their studies
  • Information about methodologies, testing procedures, subjects, and the material tested 
  • Conflicting theories, results and methodologies
  • Names of the reference researchers can also help you in your research

4.      Organise all the information

The organisation of all the data is very important in research. Things get mixed when you start writing, and many researchers cannot find the relevant information. Therefore, a prior organisation is crucial to eliminate such problems at the eleventh hour. You can make notes or highlight the discussion-worthy points to organise things effectively.

Before writing the overview of existing research, this organisation helps you in many other things. For example, it allows cracking the hidden patterns and meanings of the research. You can also divide the existing research into subtopics.

5.      Write the overview

After doing all the steps mentioned above, start writing the overview of existing research. By following the structure of the overview, start discussing all the selected papers. Mention all the work of the authors in concise language. Writing the overview most of the time follows three ways. You must also follow one of those ways. A brief description of those ways is as follows:

  • Chronological: This way of providing an overview involves discussing the research based on publication date. The old, published papers come first in the overview, while the latest comes at the end.
  • Thematic: It involves discussing the topics that have the same idea first. The overview of the research flows idea by idea or topic by topic.
  • Methodological: The methodological way is all about methods of conducting research. A research is discussed with respect to the methods employed. The researcher discusses all the papers of the same method first by moving in this way.

Conclusion

            Writing the overview of existing research is easy when you have all the guidelines. The guidelines of linking the current knowledge described above can also help you a lot. There are also other instructions on the internet. You can look for those there.

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