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Political Science Subject Guide: Literature Reviews

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More Literature Review Writing Tips

  • Thesis Whisperer- Bedraggled Daisy Lay advice on writing theses and dissertations. This article demonstrates in more detail one aspect of our discussion

Books on the Literature Review

political science research paper literature review

What is a literature review?

"A literature review is an account of what has been published on a topic by accredited scholars and researchers. [...] In writing the literature review, your purpose is to convey to your reader what knowledge and ideas have been established on a topic, and what their strengths and weaknesses are. As a piece of writing, the literature review must be defined by a guiding concept (e.g., your research objective, the problem or issue you are discussing, or your argumentative thesis). It is not just a descriptive list of the material available, or a set of summaries."

(from "The Literature Review: A Few Tips on Writing It," http://www.writing.utoronto.ca/advice/specific-types-of-writing/literature-review )

Strategies for conducting your own literature review

1. Use this guide as a starting point. Begin your search with the resources linked from the political science subject guide. These library catalogs and databases will help you identify what's been published on your topic.

2. What came first? Try bibliographic tracing. As you're finding sources, pay attention to what and whom these authors cite. Their footnotes and bibliographies will point you in the direction of additional scholarship on your topic.

3. What comes next? Look for reviews and citation reports. What did scholars think about that book when it was published in 2003? Has anyone cited that article since 1971? Reviews and citation analysis tools can help you determine if you've found the seminal works on your topic--so that you can be confident that you haven't missed anything important, and that you've kept up with the debates in your field. You'll find book reviews in JSTOR and other databases. Google Scholar has some citation metrics; you can use Web of Science ( Social Sciences Citation Index ) for more robust citation reports.

4. Stay current. Get familiar with the top journals in your field, and set up alerts for new articles. If you don't know where to begin, APSA and other scholarly associations often maintain lists of journals, broken out by subfield . In many databases (and in Google Scholar), you can also set up search alerts, which will notify you when additional items have been added that meet your search criteria.

5. Stay organized. A citation management tool--e.g., RefWorks, Endnote, Zotero, Mendeley--will help you store your citations, generate a bibliography, and cite your sources while you write. Some of these tools are also useful for file storage, if you'd like to keep PDFs of the articles you've found. To get started with citation management tools, check out this guide . 

How to find existing literature reviews

1. Consult Annual Reviews.  The Annual Review of Political Science consists of thorough literature review essays in all areas of political science, written by noted scholars. The library also subscribes to Annual Reviews in economics, law and social science, sociology, and many other disciplines.

2. Turn to handbooks, bibliographies, and other reference sources. Resources like Oxford Bibliographies Online and assorted handbooks ( Oxford Handbook of Comparative Politics , Oxford Handbook of American Elections and Political Behavior , etc.) are great ways to get a substantive introduction to a topic, subject area, debate, or issue. Not exactly literature reviews, but they do provide significant reference to and commentary on the relevant literature--like a heavily footnoted encyclopedia for specialists in a discipline. 

3. Search databases and Google Scholar.   Use the recommended databases in the "Articles & Databases" tab of this guide and try a search that includes the phrase "literature review."

4. Search in journals for literature review articles.  Once you've identified the important journals in your field as suggested in the section above, you can target these journals and search for review articles. 

5. Find book reviews.  These reviews can often contain useful contextual information about the concerns and debates of a field. Worldwide Political Science Abstracts is a good source for book reviews, as is JSTOR . To get to book reviews in JSTOR, select the advanced search option, use the title of the book as your search phrase, and narrow by item type: reviews. You can also narrow your search further by discipline.

6. Cast a wide net--don't forget dissertations.  Dissertations and theses often include literature review sections. While these aren't necessarily authoritative, definitive literature reviews (you'll want to check in Annual Reviews for those), they can provide helpful suggestions for sources to consider.

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Political Science Research Methods

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What is a literature review?

A literature review provides an overview of the scholarly literature (e.g. books, articles, dissertations, proceedings) relevant to an area of research or theory. The review typically will include a summary of the major questions in a area and critical evaluations of work that has already been done. Literature reviews are also helpful for their comprehensive bibliographies. This  webpage by the UC Santa Cruz Library  does a good job of explaining lit reviews.

Literature reviews typically include these components:

  • An overview of the subject
  • Organization of relevant publications into subtopics, theoretical areas, or key debate
  • An analysis and discussion of how various works relate to one another the the relevant questions
  • A discussion of unresolved questions or future directions
  • Some will also include discussions of key data collection and analysis methodologies

Another good way to think about literature reviews:

  • Relevant literature
  • Seminal literature
  • Narrative and literature development
  • Branches/schools of thought
  • Self-placement (where does my literature fit?)

[Borrowed from Nordyke and Yacobucci (2021) "Beyond the Annotated Bibliography: Improving Student Literature Reviews through Structured Heuristics" in Teaching Research Methods in Political Science , Jeffrey Bernstein, ed. Edward Elgar.]

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Political Science: Conducting a Literature Review

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What is a Literature Review?

"A literature review is an account of what has been published on a topic by accredited scholars and researchers. [...] In writing the literature review, your purpose is to convey to your reader what knowledge and ideas have been established on a topic, and what their strengths and weaknesses are. As a piece of writing, the literature review must be defined by a guiding concept (e.g., your research objective, the problem or issue you are discussing, or your argumentative thesis). It is not just a descriptive list of the material available, or a set of summaries."

From Yale University Library "The Literature Review: A Few Tips on Writing It," http://www.writing.utoronto.ca/advice/specific-types-of-writing/literature-review )

Literature Review Help

Courtesy of the University of North Carolina State University Libraries

  • Annual Reviews This link opens in a new window Critical reviews of current research in biomedical, life, physical, and social sciences disciplines. More Info Partial Full-Text UB ONLY

Useful Guides for Doing One

  • The Literature Review: A Few Tips on Conducting it (University of Toronto)
  • Organizing Your Social Science Research Paper: 5. The Literature Review (USC Libraries) 
  • How to Write a Literature Review 
  • Review of the Literature
  • Literature Reviews (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

How to Conduct a Literature Review in Political Science

  • Literature Reviews (Political Science) (Yale University Library)
  • Literature Review (Michigan State University)
  • Literature Review (CQ University Library)

How to Read a Research Article

  • How to Read a Scientific Paper (Elsevier)
  • The Art of Reading Research Papers (Simon Fraser University)

More on Doing a Literature Review

  • Jeffrey W. Knopf, "Doing a Literature Review," PS: Political Science & Politics 1 (January 2006): pp. 127-132.
  • Iain McMenamin, "Process and Text: Teaching Students to Review the Literature," PS: Political Science & Politics 1 (January 2006): pp. 133-135.

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Political science: literature reviews.

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  • Literature Reviews

This guide is designed to:

  • Identify the sections and purpose of a literature review in academic writing
  • Review practical strategies and organizational methods for preparing a literature review

Useful Links:

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What Is a Literature Review?

A literature review is a summary and synthesis of scholarly research on a specific topic. It should answer questions such as:

  • What research has been done on the topic?
  • Who are the key researchers and experts in the field?
  • What are the common theories and methodologies?
  • Are there challenges, controversies, and contradictions?
  • Are there gaps in the research that your approach addresses?

The process of reviewing existing research allows you to fine-tune your research question and contextualize your own work. Preparing a literature review is a cyclical process. You may find that the research question you begin with evolves as you learn more about the topic.

Review the Literature

Once you have defined your research question, focus on learning what other scholars have written on the topic.

In order to do a thorough search of the literature on the topic, define the basic criteria:

  • Databases and journals: Look at the subject guide related to your topic for recommended databases. 
  • Books: Search the Library's catalog. 
  • What time period should it cover? Is currency important?
  • Do I know of primary and secondary sources that I can use as a way to find other information?
  • What should I be aware of when looking at popular, trade, and scholarly resources? 

One strategy is to review bibliographies for sources that relate to your interest.

Tip: Use a Synthesis Matrix

As you read sources, themes will emerge that will help you to organize the review. You can use a simple Synthesis Matrix to track your notes as you read. From this work, a concept map emerges that provides an overview of the literature and ways in which it connects. Working with Zotero to capture the citations, you build the structure for writing your literature review.

Citation Concept/Theme Main Idea Notes 1 Notes 2 Gaps in the Research Quotation Page
               
               

Pacheco-Vega, R. (2016, June 17).  Synthesizing different bodies of work in your literature review: The Conceptual Synthesis Excel Dump (CSED) technique .  http://www.raulpacheco.org/2016/06/synthesizing-different-bodies-of-work-in-your-literature-review-the-conceptual-synthesis-excel-dump-technique/

How do I know when I am done?

A key indicator for knowing when you are done is running into the same articles and materials. With no new information being uncovered, you are likely exhausting your current search and should modify search terms or search different catalogs or databases. It is also possible that you have reached a point when you can start writing the literature review.

Tip: Manage Your Citations

These citation management tools also create citations, footnotes, and bibliographies with just a few clicks:

Zotero 

Write the Literature Review

Your literature review should be focused on the topic defined in your research question. It should be written in a logical, structured way and maintain an objective perspective and use a formal voice.

Review the Summary Table you created for themes and connecting ideas. Use the following guidelines to prepare an outline of the main points you want to make. 

  • Synthesize previous research on the topic.
  • Aim to include both summary and synthesis.
  • Include literature that supports your research question as well as that which offers a different perspective.
  • Avoid relying on one author or publication too heavily.
  • Select an organizational structure, such as chronological, methodological, and thematic.

The three elements of a literature review are introduction, body, and conclusion.

Introduction

  • Define the topic of the literature review, including any terminology.
  • Introduce the central theme and organization of the literature review.
  • Summarize the state of research on the topic.
  • Frame the literature review with your research question.
  • Focus on ways to have the body of literature tell its own story. Do not add your own interpretations at this point.
  • Look for patterns and find ways to tie the pieces together.
  • Summarize instead of quote.
  • Weave the points together rather than list summaries of each source.
  • Include the most important sources, not everything you have read.
  • Summarize the review of the literature.
  • Identify areas of further research on the topic.
  • Connect the review with your research.
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A Political Science Guide

For students, researchers, and others interested in doing the work of political science, the literature review.

Imagine that the specific topic you’re looking to conduct research on is a jigsaw puzzle of which you have no reference. The completed puzzle is the hypothetical “objective truth” about that topic – an absolute conclusion that will invariably arrived at if all the important and relevant pieces of information are placed together and made to interact. Of course, this “objective truth” can never be obtained, and therefore the puzzle can never be completed (but that’s not the point). When you approach the specific topic with your research question, you’re basically looking at the incomplete puzzle. With your work, you’re seeking to help complete it – you are to cut up your own jigsaw piece and paint it appropriately to be inserted into what is already there.

A literature review is basically a broad survey into the specific topic you’re looking to do research in. Going back to the analogy, you’re looking at the incomplete puzzle and using the contours shaped by the already fitted pieces to inform your efforts of creating the new jigsaw piece. Sometimes you find that some pieces are inappropriate for the overall puzzle, and sometimes you find that there are too many significant gaps in the first place – making any concept of the picture you’re trying to obtain incomprehensible from the get-go. But that all comes with the territory; nobody said this job was easy.

In general, the literature review process can be broken down into two portions:

  • A concise summary of the relevant arguments and conclusions that have already been made about the topic.
  • A personal, deliberated judgment on what you have just summarized.

With these two fundamental aspects, you can then go on to lay out where to proceed from there. However, you need to know how to get those arguments and conclusions in the first place.

Resource-Finding

Of course, begin with the Library.  Refer to the “Using the Library” section for further information on this.

Explore your faculty . Coming off several years of graduate and post-graduate as well as their own independent research, they probably know a book or two about your specific topic. They might even have it lying around in their office. Also, don’t limit yourself to professors who specialize in the field you’re interested in or just to those in your department. This is especially true if you know you’re researching a somewhat neglected or obscure line of inquiry. Your Azerbaijan History professor might know a guy who knows a guy who specializes in Post-Modern Nuclear Deterrence Fiction to whom she/he could refer you to, and so on so forth.

When you get your hands on your first few books, read through the Bibliography and References section. Take note especially of the works cited consistently across the books you’re reading – this is a good indication of a work or an argument well-accepted (or debated) among the academia of that topic.

A few words on the Internet . We are all, of course, enamored by the sheer accessibility of information that Google pampers us with, this being the digital age and all. However, be very aware and critical about the material you come across. Assessing credibility is ever so important in the expansive sea of the internet (which means, in general, never rely on Wikipedia – unless if you’re using it as a hub to get to better places). Two pretty reliable academic search engines are Google Scholar and Jstor , though the latter can only be accessed in certain Wi-Fi networks (like universities or libraries) or only if you have a subscription.

So, we’ve touched upon places you can start off with finding resources. There are probably other more crafty methods to find out useful books and articles, and if so please let us know so we can put it up here. Now that we’re done with that, let’s look at production and composition.

Writing the Review

Read the article mentioned below on “Doing a Literature Review” by Jeffrey W. Knopf. It’s a concise and effective article on the craft of doing this important step of your research/thesis, and it provides a lot of key considerations that you should be thinking about when you both survey the literature and put your review together.

A few other words:

  • A Literature Review is yet another active narrative to your work. Do not simply treat it as a list; treat it as exposition. If anything, it is analogous to the first ten minutes of your basic movie: it sets up the world, the rules, and the players.
  • Don’t extend your bias just yet – and don’t be biased when you’re presenting the multiple schools of thought. That just hurts your credibility if you come off the bat with it, because it renders your work somewhat subjective. A reliable piece of social science research has to have some character of objectivity, the findings have to come out from a clear consideration of all sides.

Notes on Sources

It is important, when conducting your literature review, to keep in mind that not all sources are made equally.  A familiar division is between primary, secondary, and tertiary sources (see Monmouth College description of sources ).  However, there is also the issue of source quality.  Monmouth College’s evaluation criteria are a useful place to start. UC Berkeley Library’s guide to a “Critical Evaluation of Resources” also may be helpful here. They stress keeping in mind such factors as the suitability of a source (what was its intended audience?) and its authority (what are the credentials of the author? how does that author claim to know what they know?).  It is especially important to keep such issues in mind when gathering information from the internet. Johns Hopkins University’s Guide to “Evaluating Information Found on the Internet” has this specific set of concerns in mind. One of the tricky issues that they flag is the question of using sources that appear at the top of search results.  No one has a perfect answer for how to deal with the issue and every search engine is different. But it is important to keep this in mind.

Wesleyan University Library Guide on Literature Reviews: http://libguides.wesleyan.edu/litreview

  • Knopf, Jeffrey W. “ Doing a Literature Review ,” PS: Political Science & Politics 39:1, 127-132.

Abstract : Educator and naval postgraduate school professor Knopf presents a brief and wholly comprehensive summary of what is a literature review and how to write one. He also discusses some other interesting issue to consider, like contributions students can make to their fields of interest and the techniques of framing.

  • “ Literature Review Handout, ” prepared by The Writing Center, University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

Contributor: Nicholas Quah

updated January 18, 2024 – MN

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What is A Literature Review?

Definition :

A Literature Review surveys scholarly source materials that are relevant to a person's research thesis/problem and/or a particular issue or theory. It also provides a critical analysis that summarizes and synthesizes the source materials while also demonstrating how a person's research pertains to or fits within the larger discipline of study.

Literature Reviews vary from discipline to discipline as well as across assignments, but generally a good literature review is designed to help you answer 2 questions:

  • What do we know about this particular issue, theory or subject?
  • What do we not know about this particular issue, theory or subject?

Good literature reviews also :

  • Evaluate the context of scholarly material for its contribution to the understanding of the research thesis being studied.
  • Explain the relationships between each of the works under deliberation.
  • Identify gaps in previous research.
  • Define new ways to interpret research within a discipline.
  • Address conflicts found in contradictory research previously conducted.
  • Identify the need for additional research.

For Your Literature Review Include:

1. Introduction to the topic. State the topic, purpose, and significance. Provide a brief overview outlining the central points covered.

2. Relevance and Importance of studying this topic. What direction will the review take? Specific Aspects?

3. Literature Review. Organize your review of the research literature:  Methods, Chronological, different approaches or perspectives, etc... Remember you want to find the seminal or major works on your topic Avoid discussinh each article separately. Explore relationships and aim to compare/contrast more than one article in most paragraphs.

4. Any "Lessons Learned" that can be drawn from the literature review.

5. Future Directions. State any areas for further research, i.e. gaps, omissions, inconsistencies, hitherto unexplored aspects. 

 What types of literature are considered in a literature review

Peer-Reviewed articles are usually considered the most credible sources and the most common format of literature for a review.

In addition, when doing your research, consider those articles written by scholars who have written extensively on the specific topic or related areas. 

And more ......

A literature review DOES:

  • discuss the work of others
  • describe, in a narrative fashion, the major developments that relate to your research question
  • evaluate other researchers' methods and findings
  • identify any gaps in their research
  • indicate how your research is going to be different in some way

A literature review DOES NOT:

  • simply list all the resources that you consult in developing your research (that would be a Works Cited or Works Consulted page)
  • simply list resources with a few factual, non-evaluative notes about what is in each work (that would be an Annotated Bibliography)
  • try to discuss every bit of research that has ever been done relating to your topic (that would be far too big of a task)

Still confused?  See this guide  from the University of North Carolina for a more detailed explanation of lit reviews.

Tips for Writing Your Literature Review

  • Signal Phrases for Summarizing, Paraphrasing, & Quotations
  • Do not over "quote." If you only quote from every single author you found, then you are not showing any original thinking or analysis. Use quotes judiciously. Use quotes to highlight a particular passage or thought that exemplifies the research, theory or topic you are researching.
  • Instead use paraphrasing to report, in your own words, what the author was reporting or theorizing.
  • Summarize findings, important sections or a whole article--this is different from paraphrasing since you are not re-stating the author words but identifying the main points of what you are reading in a concise matter for your readers.
  • When synthesizing your findings for the literature review (this is when you make comparisons, establish relationships between authors' works, point out weaknesses, strengths and gaps among the literature review), you still need to give credit to these sources.
  • Short paragraphs are easier to read than long paragraphs.
  • Subheadings and subsections can help to underscore the structure of your review.
  • Do more than just summarize the readings.  A lit review is not an annotated bibliography.
  • Resist the temptation to refer to *all* the readings you've evaluated.  To begin with, focus on readings you've identified as essential or representative

Literature Review vs. Annotated Bibliography

Literature reviews and annotated bibliographies may appear similar in nature, but in fact, they vary greatly in two very important areas: purpose and format.

Differences in Purpose :

Literature Review : A literature review works to do two main things. The first is to provide a case for continuing research into a particular subject or idea by giving an overview of source materials you have discovered on a subject or idea. The second is to demonstrate how your research will fit into the the larger discipline of study by noting discipline knowledge gaps and contextulizing questions for the betterment of the discipline. Literature reviews tend to have a stated or implied thesis as well.

Annotated Bibliography : An annotated bibliography is basically an aphabetically arranged list of references that consists of citations and a brief summary and critique of each of the source materials. The element of critiquing appears to give literature reviews and annotated bibliographies their apparent similarities but in truth this is where they greatly differ. An annotated bibliography normally critiques the quality of the source material  while literature reviews concentrate on the value of the source material in its ability to answer a particular question or support an argument.  

Differences in Format :

Literature Review : A literature review is a formally written prose document very similar to journal articles.  Many literature reviews are incorporated directly into scholarly source material as part of the formal research process. The literature review is typically a required component of dissertations and theses.

Annotated Bibliography : An annotated bibliography is a formal list of citations with annotations or short descriptions and critiques of particular source materials. Annotated bibliographies act as a precursor to a literature review as an organizational tool.

Literature Review Examples

To find literature reviews in databases like Academic Search Complete:

  • Type your search term in the first search box.
  • Type literature review in the second search box.

Some sample reviews:

  • Writing a Short Literature Review
  • Sample Literature Review
  • Another Sample Literature Review

Ways to Organize Your Literature Review

Chronologically by Events   If your review follows the chronological method, you could write about the materials according to when they were published. This approach should only be followed if a clear path of research building on previous research can be identified and that these trends follow a clear chronological order of development. For example, a literature review that focuses on continuing research about the emergence of German economic power after the fall of the Soviet Union. By Publication Date Order your sources by publication date if the order demonstrates an important trend. For instance, you could order a review of literature on environmental studies of brown fields if the progression revealed, for example, a change in the soil collection practices of the researchers who wrote and/or conducted the studies. Thematically (“conceptual categories”) Thematic reviews of literature are organized around a topic or issue, rather than the progression of time. However, progression of time may still be an important factor in a thematic review. For example, a review of the Internet’s impact on American presidential politics could focus on the development of online political satire. While the study focuses on one topic, the Internet’s impact on American presidential politics, it will still be organized chronologically reflecting technological developments in media. The only difference here between a "chronological" and a "thematic" approach is what is emphasized the most: the role of the Internet in presidential politics. Note however that more authentic thematic reviews tend to break away from chronological order. A review organized in this manner would shift between time periods within each section according to the point made. Methodologically A methodological approach focuses on the methods utilized by the researcher. For the Internet in American presidential politics project, one methodological approach would be to look at cultural differences between the portrayal of American presidents on American, British, and French websites. Or the review might focus on the fundraising impact of the Internet on a particular political party. A methodological scope will influence either the types of documents in the review or the way in which these documents are discussed.

(adapted from  "The Literature Review"  from Organizing Your Social Research Paper, University of Southern California )

Best Practices: Quoting, Paraphrasing, etc.

Definitions:

Quoting *: "(a) to speak or write (a passage) from another usually with credit acknowledgment. (b) to repeat a passage especially in substantiation or illustration."

Paraphrasing *: Paraphrase is the "restatement of a text, passage, or work giving the meaning in another form."

Summarizing *: It's the process of summarizing a text or paragraph to tis main points succinctly.

Synthesizing *: "1. (a) the composition or combination of parts or elements so as to form a whole."

 *Definitions from Merriam Webster Dictionary Online: http://www.m-w.com <Accessed September 1st, 2011>

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What is a literature review and why should you do it?

A literature review is:.

  • a summary and evaluation of the significant research and/or theory published on a topic
  • organized in a way that analyzes, integrates, and shows the relationship between research studies, as well as the way each has contributed to an understanding of the topic
  • NOT just an annotated bibliography

The purpose of a literature review is to:

  • provide an overview of relevant literature, research, and methodology in an area of study
  • explore relationships among the prior research
  • evaluate the prior research
  • identify gaps and discrepancies in the literature
  • identify areas of controversy in the literature
  • make an argument for why further study of your research question is important to a field

 Benefits to the researcher:

  • Establishing context and significance of the problem
  • Discovering appropriate subject vocabulary
  • Identifying methodologies
  • Identifying what has been researched and where gaps may be found – underused methodologies, designs, populations
  • Focusing research topic

Evaluate your articles by asking yourself some of these questions:

  • What is the methodology ?
  • What is the quality of the findings or conclusions?
  • What are the article’s major strengths and weaknesses ?
  • What beliefs are expressed/is there an ideological stance?
  • Can the results be generalized?
  • How does this fit in and compare with other articles I have read?

Writing the review

The literature review should deal with relationships – how do the articles relate to each other?  How do the articles relate to your research?

In the literature review:

  • Explain the reason for reviewing the literature; explain why particular literature was included or excluded
  • Summarize the major contributions of the significant articles
  • Evaluate and compare the articles
  • Evaluate the current state of the research -- explain inconsistencies in theory or conclusions, gaps in research, trends in what has been published, and opportunities for further research
  • DO NOT just summarize the articles

Ways to organize:

  • By theoretical approaches
  • By concept or issue
  • By methodologies employed
  • By chronology, if significant changes in thought have taken place
  • Use subheadings to clarify the structure
  • Use original sources -- do not cite works you have not read
  • Minimize direct quotations by summarizing in your own words (with citations)
  • Use appropriate quotation and citation methods to avoid plagiarism
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I.  What is a Literature Review? The purpose of a review is to analyze critically a segment of a published body of knowledge through summary, classification, and comparison of prior research studies. It can be a simple summary of the sources, but it usually has an organizational pattern, combining both summary and synthesis.

  • Review of the Literature (Wisconsin)
  • Systematic Literature Review vs Narrative Reviews
  • Get Lit: the Literature Review Candace Schaefer in the Texas A&M University Writing Center.

III.  What Major Steps and Basic Elements Literature Reviews Require?

  • Overview of the subject, issue or theory under consideration, along with the objectives of literature review
  • Perform a literature review, finding materials relevant to the subject being explored
  • Division of works under review into categories (e.g. those in support of a particular position, those against, etc)
  • Explanation of how each work is similar to and how it varies from the others
  • Conclusions as to which pieces are best considered in their argument, are most convincing of their opinions, and make the greatest contribution to the understanding and development of their area of research
  • Write a Lit Review (UCSC)

IV.    Which Citation Tool Are You Going to Use to Manage the Literature Sources? Choose your citation tool before conducing your literature reviews.  There are a number of choices, including following software supported by the Libraries and the University:

  • RefWorks Available at no cost to Texas A&M affiliates.
  • EndNote Available for free through a campus-wide site license.

Cited Reference Searching

Cited references are the sources consulted in writing an article or a book, often referred to within the text of the work. A list of cited references may appear as Bibliographic Notes, Footnotes or Endnotes, References, List of Sources Cited or Consulted. In order for an article to be cited, it needs to have been published for a long enough period of time for another published article, citing it to appear.

These listings can be helpful in a number of ways:

  • Finding an article on a relevant topic and accumulating similar helpful resources
  • Following a specific idea or theory back to its first appearance in the literature
  • Finding articles that build on a specific theory or the most recent article on a topic
  • Identifying experts or leaders on a specific topic
  • Documenting scholarly reputation and impact for tenure and promotion

The cited reference databases are efficient in pulling together many articles on a topic with their references and in identifying which articles on a topic have been cited most frequently.  They can also help identify the “top” journals in a field by impact factor, which may be useful for assessing them.

  • Web of Science This link opens in a new window covers the world’s leading scholarly literature in the sciences, social sciences, arts, and humanities and examines proceedings of international conferences, symposia, seminars, colloquia, workshops, and conventions. It also includes cited references and citation mapping functions.

Searches can be done by:

  • Title or Topic
  •  Author or Editor – The Author Finder tool includes variations on an author’s name
  • Journal or Publication Name
  • Grant Name or Funding Agency
  • Limited by year, Language, Document Type 

The citation of the article  will be retrieved with its references as well as the number of times cited and by whom.

You can refine your search results by subject area, useful when there is more than one author with the same name, or by document type.  You can see the number of articles in your set contributed by particular authors and institutions and can create a citation report to identify which articles in your results have been cited the most.

You can easily export your results to bibliographic software like EndNote or RefWorks.

Articles can be searched by:

  • Abstract word or keyword
  • Source or journal
  • Author (by name or by affiliation)
  • Limit by date or document type

The database allows accounts to be set up and can save search alerts and journals lists.  Scopus also provides journal analytics including data and graphs to illustrate the total citations, articles published, trend line and % not cited over time.  It has the ability to exclude self-citations.

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Sage Research Methods-How to Write a Literature Review

Dr. Eric Jensen, Professor of Sociology at the University of Warwick, and Dr. Charles Laurie, Director of Research at Verisk Maplecroft, explain how to write a literature review and why researchers need to do so.

The steps of how to write a literature review discussed in the video include the following:

  • How Do You Conduct a Literature Review?
  • How Do You Find and Organize Sources of Information?
  • How Do You Assess These Sources of Information?
  • How Do You Write up Your Findings?
  • How Do You Identify Gaps in Literature?

political science research paper literature review

Other sources for Writing Literature Reviews

  • Owl Purdue - Writing a Literature Review Provides a general overview of how to write a literature review.

What's a Literature Review?

  • Acquire a better understanding of the current state of knowledge in a particular discipline or field of study, providing context for a research project.
  • Identify key concepts, theories, methodologies, and other findings related to their research topic, which helps researchers in build theoretical frameworks based on established theories and concepts.
  • Identify gaps in a disciplinary area where there is a lack of research or conflicting findings, and highlight major questions that should be addressed in further literature.

Types of Literature Reviews

  • Narrative literature reviews provide a general, qualitative summary of the literature. Narrative reviews focus on only a few studies that describe a topic of interest and are not systematic. Undergraduates writing research papers for the first time are usually assigned to write this type of review.
  • Systematic reviews  follow a structured and rigorous methodology to systematically gather, analyze, and synthesize all relevant studies on a specific topic of literature. Systematic reviews use specific criteria to decide what literature to include in the review. Systematic reviews are primarily used in the medical and psychological literature.
  • Meta-analyses  combine empirical statistical analysis research and data from multiple studies. The terms meta-analysis and systematic review are often used interchangeably.
  • Scoping reviews map the literature in a broad sense to identify key themes and gaps. Unlike systematic reviews, which have a narrow focus, scoping reviews are broader in scope and explore a diversity of the available literature in a given field.

Resources for Locating Literature Reviews

Published literature reviews of all types are found in a variety of research databases. It is important to search different databases to locate relevant reviews. Regardless of the databases used, the following searches can be helpful:

  • " literature review " OR " review of the literature " AND " your research topic/question/key terms "
  • " systematic review " AND " your research topic/question/key terms "  
  • " meta analysis " OR " meta-analysis " AND " your research topic/question/key terms "
  • " scoping review " AND " your research topic/question/key terms "
  • Annual Reviews The Annual Reviews series of publications provides literature review articles that analyze the most significant scholarly research published within the preceding year. These article-length reviews are authored by leading scholars and cover over 40 different subject disciplines in the social, behavioral, and hard sciences.
  • JSTOR Started as a grant-funded project at the University of Michigan, JSTOR is now a  premier scholarly digital research database primarily for the humanities and social sciences. In addition to journal articles, users can access ebooks, book chapters, images, and primary source documents.  JSTOR contains the full text of more than 2,300 journals from 1,000 publishers, with publication dates ranging from 1665 to 2015 (for specific titles). Journals are available in more than 60 disciplines in the humanities, social sciences, sciences, and mathematics. Note:  The majority of journals in JSTOR have an embargo period or "Moving Wall" delay of 3 to 5 years. This means there is a gap in the availability of current issues of most JSTOR journals.
  • The International Bibliography of the Social Sciences (IBSS) The International Bibliography of the Social Sciences (IBSS) is compiled by the British Library of Political and Economic Science at the London School of Economics. It provides access to scholarly literature in the social sciences, covering various disciplines, including sociology, political science, anthropology, economics, geography, and more. It includes over 3 million bibliographic references to journal articles, books, book reviews, and selected book chapters back to 1951.
  • Project Muse Project Muse provides online access to many scholarly journals, books, and other academic resources in the humanities, social sciences, and arts. It is also a leading provider of digital humanities content. Project MUSE offers access to diverse, high-quality, peer-reviewed journals from renowned university presses, scholarly societies, and academic publishers. It also covers various disciplines, including literature, history, philosophy, political science, sociology, cultural studies, etc. Some institutions subscribe to the Project Muse Premium Collection, which contains over 700 scholarly journals from over 100 publishers on various subjects.
  • Dissertations & Theses Global ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global is a comprehensive collection of academic theses and dissertations students submit as part of their university studies. Each dissertation or thesis provides a literature review section, offering a critical assessment of the sources used to write the work.
  • Science Direct Science Direct provides a large collection of Social Sciences and Humanities journals and books, highlighting historical context, current developments, theories, applications, trends, and more.
  • Social Science Citation Index™ (Web of Science) Social Sciences Citation Index™ provides access to a wide range of scholarly literature in the social sciences, including sociology, psychology, political science, anthropology, economics, and education, among others. Contains over 3,400 journals across 58 social sciences disciplines, as well as selected items from 3,500 of the world’s leading scientific and technical journals. More than 9.37 million records and 122 million cited references date back from 1900 to the present.
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Additional Online Resources

  • How to: Literature reviews The Writing Center, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
  • The Literature Review A basic overview of the literature review process. (Courtesy of Virginia Commonwealth University)
  • The Process: Search, Assess, Summarize, Synthesize Getting Started: Assessing Sources/Creating a Matrix/Writing a Literature Review (Courtesy of Virginia Commonwealth University)
  • Review of Literature The Writing Center @ Univeristy of Wisconsin - Madison
  • Tools for Preparing Literature Reviews George Washington University
  • Write a Literature Review University Library, UC Santa Cruz

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1. Introduction

Not to be confused with a book review, a  literature review  surveys scholarly articles, books and other sources (e.g. dissertations, conference proceedings) relevant to a particular issue, area of research, or theory, providing a description, summary, and critical evaluation of each work. The purpose is to offer an overview of significant literature published on a topic.

2. Components

Similar to primary research, development of the literature review requires four stages:

  • Problem formulation—which topic or field is being examined and what are its component issues?
  • Literature search—finding materials relevant to the subject being explored
  • Data evaluation—determining which literature makes a significant contribution to the understanding of the topic
  • Analysis and interpretation—discussing the findings and conclusions of pertinent literature

Literature reviews should comprise the following elements:

  • An overview of the subject, issue or theory under consideration, along with the objectives of the literature review
  • Division of works under review into categories (e.g. those in support of a particular position, those against, and those offering alternative theses entirely)
  • Explanation of how each work is similar to and how it varies from the others
  • Conclusions as to which pieces are best considered in their argument, are most convincing of their opinions, and make the greatest contribution to the understanding and development of their area of research

In assessing each piece, consideration should be given to:

  • Provenance—What are the author's credentials? Are the author's arguments supported by evidence (e.g. primary historical material, case studies, narratives, statistics, recent scientific findings)?
  • Objectivity—Is the author's perspective even-handed or prejudicial? Is contrary data considered or is certain pertinent information ignored to prove the author's point?
  • Persuasiveness—Which of the author's theses are most/least convincing?
  • Value—Are the author's arguments and conclusions convincing? Does the work ultimately contribute in any significant way to an understanding of the subject?

  3. Definition and Use/Purpose

A literature review may constitute an essential chapter of a thesis or dissertation, or may be a self-contained review of writings on a subject. In either case, its purpose is to:

  • Place each work in the context of its contribution to the understanding of the subject under review
  • Describe the relationship of each work to the others under consideration
  • Identify new ways to interpret, and shed light on any gaps in, previous research
  • Resolve conflicts amongst seemingly contradictory previous studies
  • Identify areas of prior scholarship to prevent duplication of effort
  • Point the way forward for further research
  • Place one's original work (in the case of theses or dissertations) in the context of existing literature

The literature review itself, however, does not present new  primary  scholarship.

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What is a literature review?

A literature review discusses published information in a particular subject area. It can be just a simple summary of the sources, but it usually has an organizational pattern and combines both summary and synthesis . A summary is a recap of the important information of the source, but a synthesis is a re-organization, or a reshuffling, of that information. It might give a new interpretation of old material or combine new with old interpretations. Or it might trace the intellectual progression of the field, including major debates. And depending on the situation, the literature review may evaluate the sources and advise the reader on the most pertinent or relevant.

Writing a literature review

A literature review, like a term paper, is usually organized around ideas, not the sources themselves as an annotated bibliography would be organized. This means that you will not just simply list your sources and go into detail about each one of them, one at a time.  As you read widely in your topic area, consider instead what themes or issues connect your sources together. Do they present one or different solutions? Is there an aspect of the field that is missing? How well do they present the material and do they portray it according to an appropriate theory? Do they reveal a trend in the field? A raging debate? You may want to pick one of these themes to focus the organization of your review.

(This section was adapted from the University of North Carolina Writing Center's Guide to Literature Reviews .)

Sources to Help You

Writing a Literature Review and Using a Synthesis Matrix

Ten Simple Rules for Writing a Literature Review

  • Concept Map Streamline your searching by expanding your list of keywords/search terms.
  • Academic Reading Strategies Provides tips for deeper understanding of what you read.
  • Literature Review Matrix: Summarize and Synthesize A tool to help you summarize and synthesize what you find.
  • Guide for Writing in Political Science (Southwestern Univ.)

TIP:    Look for other literature reviews in your subject area to see how they are written.  Use the keyword "literature review."

The Writing Process

Research is only half of the equation when you're working on an academic project.  You must now synthesize your ideas and sources into a logical, coherent product.  Here are some links that will help you with this process.

  • Citation Guides Now that you've researched, written and revised, it's time to properly cite your sources. These guides will help you to give attribution to your references. There's a tab on the guide with information about Citation Managers (e.g. RefWorks, Zotero).
  • APSA Style Guide
  • APSA Style tip sheet
  • Writing Process Map
  • How to Start Your Research: A DIY Guide by Benjamin Hoover Last Updated Jun 13, 2024 294 views this year

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Key Features of Empirical Research

These are some key features to look for when identifying empirical research in political science.

NOTE:  Not all of these features will be in every empirical research article, some may be excluded, use this only as a guide.

  • Statement of methodology
  • Research questions are clear and measurable
  • Individuals, group, subjects which are being studied are identified/defined
  • Data is presented regarding the findings
  • Controls or instruments such as surveys or tests were conducted
  • There is a literature review
  • There is discussion of the results included
  • Citations/references are included

Some useful keywords may be...

  • Action Research
  • Case Studies
  • Ethnography
  • Evaluation Methods
  • Evaluation Research
  • Experiments
  • Focus Groups
  • Field Studies
  • Qualitative Research
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political science research paper literature review

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  • > PS: Political Science & Politics
  • > Volume 39 Issue 1
  • > Doing a Literature Review

political science research paper literature review

Article contents

Doing a literature review.

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 February 2006

Students entering a graduate program often encounter a new type of assignment that differs from the papers they had to write in high school or as college undergraduates: the literature review (also known as a critical review essay). Put briefly, a literature review summarizes and evaluates a body of writings about a specific topic. The need to conduct such reviews is by no means limited to graduate students; scholarly researchers generally carry out literature reviews throughout their research careers. In a world where the Internet has broadened the range of potentially relevant sources, however, doing a literature review can pose challenges even to an experienced researcher. In drafting this overview, I have incorporated some points made by Paul Pitman in a lecture delivered to students at the Naval Postgraduate School. I have also incorporated some suggestions contained in a handout prepared by John Odell for students in the School of International Relations at the University of Southern California.

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  • Volume 39, Issue 1
  • Jeffrey W. Knopf (a1)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S1049096506060264

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political science research paper literature review

POSC 325: Political Analysis: Literature Review Tips

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  • Literature Review Tips
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The Literature Review

The literature review is meant to serve as preliminary research,  conducted before you write a research paper. You conduct this review of the literature after you develop a topic  that interests you, and before you solidify your position . It is both a  summary and a general timeline  of research done on the subject you're about to discuss in detail. Essentially, you're trying to:

  • Determine what's already been written on a topic
  • Evaluate what's already been written on a topic
  • Identify gaps that haven't been heavily researched
  • Join into the conversation that's already been started by other scholars

When Preparing to Write:

  • Identify the most  significant studies and scholars  concerning your topic or research question. Read the works carefully and consistently and take notes
  • State the  central research questions  investigated by scholars, the  key concepts , and  hypotheses advanced,  and their  methodological strengths and weaknesses
  • Identify  significant trends or patterns  in the results of the studies
  • Identify any  gaps  you may find in the literature - questions left unexplored, concepts or theories misused, or methodological errors made
  • Think about how the  studies all fit together
  • Summarize  the state of the field for this research topic

When  Writing :

  • Describe the  topic or problem area . Note why the topic is important and why it is worth studying
  • Identify the  research question  you are investigating or the hypothesis you are testing
  • Discuss how the  previous work  (that is, its findings, methods, trends, and theories) sets the stage for your own research
  • Discuss how your research effort is  similar to  or  differs from  previous ones
  • Discuss what you  plan to do  in your research paper
  • Write the  literature review  in an essay format with proper citations and a bibliography

Sections to Include in Your Literature Review:

  • Introduction
  • Literature Review
  • Model and Hypothesis
  • Research Design

Literature Review Source Template

lit review source template

Literature Review Example [Purdue Owl]

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What is a literature review?

A literature review is an explanation of what has been published on a subject by recognized researchers. Occasionally you will be asked to write one as a separate assignment (sometimes in the form of an annotated bibliography--, but more often it is part of the introduction to a   research report, essay, thesis or dissertation.) Critical literature reviews help to write your literature review more effectively: A literature review must do these things: a. be organized around and related directly to the thesis or research question you are developing b. synthesize results into a summary of what is and is not known c. identify areas of controversy in the literature d. formulate questions that need further research Before writing literature review ask yourself questions like these:

1. What is the specific thesis, problem, or research question that my review of literature helps to define?

2. What type of literature review am I conducting? Am I looking at issues of theory? methodology? policy? quantitative research (e.g. on the effectiveness of a new procedure)? qualitative research (e.g., studies )?

3. What is the scope of my literature review? What types of publications am I using (e.g., journals, books, government documents, popular media)? What discipline am I working in (e.g., management , organizational behavior, 

marketing)?

4. How good was my information seeking? Has my search been wide enough to ensure I've found all the relevant material? Has it been narrow enough to exclude irrelevant material? Is the number of sources I've used appropriate for the length of my paper?

5. Have I critically analyzed the literature I use? Do I follow through a set of concepts and questions, comparing items to each other in the ways they deal with them? Instead of just listing and summarizing items, do I assess them, discussing strengths and weaknesses?

6. Have I cited and discussed studies contrary to my perspective?

7. Will the reader find my literature review relevant, appropriate, and useful?

Tips on writing a literature review (Hart 1998)

Lit Review Tips

Search for the most recent articles that deal with your topic; many of them will summarize the prior literature in the area, saving you valuable time. Remember to attribute even if you paraphrase!

Literature reviews can be overwhelming. You can't find everything. Just find the literature that gets discussed the most or is most relevant to your topic.

The goal of the literature review is to show that you understand the 'bigger picture' and can put your research and recommendations in context of others working in the field.

Need help writing a literature review?

Writing Literature Reviews : A Guide for Students of the Social and Behavioral Sciences by Jose L. Galvan.

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Definition of a literature review

  • Framework of Information Literacy
  • Citing using Americal Political Science Association (APSA) Style
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A literature review is a comprehensive summary of previous research on a topic. The literature review surveys scholarly articles, books, and other sources relevant to a particular area of research.  The review should enumerate, describe, summarize, objectively evaluate and clarify this previous research.  It should give a theoretical base for the research and help you (the author) determine the nature of your research.  The literature review acknowledges the work of previous researchers, and in so doing, assures the reader that your work has been well conceived.  It is assumed that by mentioning a previous work in the field of study, that the author has read, evaluated, and assimilated that work into the work at hand.

A literature review creates a "landscape" for the reader, giving her or him a full understanding of the developments in the field.  This landscape informs the reader that the author has indeed assimilated all (or the vast majority of) previous, significant works in the field into her or his research. 

Review articles. Sometimes categorized as a literature review in a database, a review article is a survey of articles on a topic with findings summarized. This provides the reader with the current state of research in a field or research area.

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  • Doing a Literature Review in Political Science From the abstract: "Students entering a graduate program often encounter a new type of assignment that differs from the papers they had to write in high school or as college undergraduates: the literature review (also known as a critical review essay). Put briefly, a literature review summarizes and evaluates a body of writings about a specific topic."
  • Guidelines to Writing a Literature Review From Helen Mongan-Rallis at UMD. Includes links to additional helpful guides.
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"Writing A Literature Review Is An Inevitable Part of Being A Graduate Student" (NCSU)

Annual Reviews* - The Ultimate Lit Review

"Annual Review articles hold a unique place in the scholarly communication ecosystem because they transfer expert knowledge synthesized from the exponentially expanding corpus of scientific literature to scholars and society. To create this impactful content, we bring together expert Editorial Committees in each covered discipline and facilitate meetings where members can discuss trends in each field and select relevant topics for review. Authoritative authors are then invited to submit reviews, and they readily accept the challenge to help shape and define their field as a service to scholars and society. The number of Annual Review journals continues to grow over a broad range of disciplines within the Biomedical, Life, Physical, and Social Sciences, including Economics. The creation of a new title indicates that the amount of original research in a field has reached a critical mass."

Sample Literature Review

  • Song, S. (2018). Political Theories of Migration. Annual Review of Political Science, 21, 385-402. Abstract : The topic of migration raises important and challenging normative questions about the legitimacy of state power, the boundaries of political membership, and justice within and across state borders. States exercise power over borders, but what, if anything, justifies this power? Is it morally permissible for liberal democratic states to prevent their citizens from exiting the country and exclude prospective migrants from entering? If liberal democratic states are justified in excluding some and accepting others, how should they decide whom to admit? This review examines how contemporary political theorists and philosophers have answered these questions. First, I examine the conventional view that says states have the right to control immigration; second, I discuss arguments for open borders. The third section examines critique of open borders, and the fourth section considers more recent arguments that have been advanced in favor of the conventional view. I conclude with some suggestions for future research. Keywords : borders, migration, emigration, immigration, refugees. APA Cite : Song, S. (2018). Political Theories of Migration. Annual Review of Political Science, 21, 385-402. Author : Sarah Song, School of Law and Department of Political Science, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720, USA; email: [email protected]
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Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper: Writing a Case Study

  • Purpose of Guide
  • Design Flaws to Avoid
  • Independent and Dependent Variables
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  • Broadening a Topic Idea
  • Extending the Timeliness of a Topic Idea
  • Academic Writing Style
  • Choosing a Title
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  • Limitations of the Study
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  • Further Readings
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  • Using Visual Aids
  • Grading Someone Else's Paper
  • Types of Structured Group Activities
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  • Multiple Book Review Essay
  • Reviewing Collected Essays
  • Writing a Case Study
  • About Informed Consent
  • Writing Field Notes
  • Writing a Policy Memo
  • Writing a Research Proposal
  • Bibliography

The term case study refers to both a method of analysis and a specific research design for examining a problem, both of which are used in most circumstances to generalize across populations. This tab focuses on the latter--how to design and organize a research paper in the social sciences that analyzes a specific case.

A case study research paper examines a person, place, event, phenomenon, or other type of subject of analysis in order to extrapolate  key themes and results that help predict future trends, illuminate previously hidden issues that can be applied to practice, and/or provide a means for understanding an important research problem with greater clarity. A case study paper usually examines a single subject of analysis, but case study papers can also be designed as a comparative investigation that shows relationships between two or among more than two subjects. The methods used to study a case can rest within a quantitative, qualitative, or mixed-method investigative paradigm.

Case Studies . Writing@CSU. Colorado State University; Mills, Albert J. , Gabrielle Durepos, and Eiden Wiebe, editors. Encyclopedia of Case Study Research . Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2010 ; “What is a Case Study?” In Swanborn, Peter G. Case Study Research: What, Why and How? London: SAGE, 2010.

How to Approach Writing a Case Study Research Paper

General information about how to choose a topic to investigate can be found under the " Choosing a Research Problem " tab in this writing guide. Review this page because it may help you identify a subject of analysis that can be investigated using a single case study design.

However, identifying a case to investigate involves more than choosing the research problem . A case study encompasses a problem contextualized around the application of in-depth analysis, interpretation, and discussion, often resulting in specific recommendations for action or for improving existing conditions. As Seawright and Gerring note, practical considerations such as time and access to information can influence case selection, but these issues should not be the sole factors used in describing the methodological justification for identifying a particular case to study. Given this, selecting a case includes considering the following:

  • Does the case represent an unusual or atypical example of a research problem that requires more in-depth analysis? Cases often represent a topic that rests on the fringes of prior investigations because the case may provide new ways of understanding the research problem. For example, if the research problem is to identify strategies to improve policies that support girl's access to secondary education in predominantly Muslim nations, you could consider using Azerbaijan as a case study rather than selecting a more obvious nation in the Middle East. Doing so may reveal important new insights into recommending how governments in other predominantly Muslim nations can formulate policies that support improved access to education for girls.
  • Does the case provide important insight or illuminate a previously hidden problem? In-depth analysis of a case can be based on the hypothesis that the case study will reveal trends or issues that have not been exposed in prior research or will reveal new and important implications for practice. For example, anecdotal evidence may suggest drug use among homeless veterans is related to their patterns of travel throughout the day. Assuming prior studies have not looked at individual travel choices as a way to study access to illicit drug use, a case study that observes a homeless veteran could reveal how issues of personal mobility choices facilitate regular access to illicit drugs. Note that it is important to conduct a thorough literature review to ensure that your assumption about the need to reveal new insights or previously hidden problems is valid and evidence-based.
  • Does the case challenge and offer a counter-point to prevailing assumptions? Over time, research on any given topic can fall into a trap of developing assumptions based on outdated studies that are still applied to new or changing conditions or the idea that something should simply be accepted as "common sense," even though the issue has not been thoroughly tested in practice. A case may offer you an opportunity to gather evidence that challenges prevailing assumptions about a research problem and provide a new set of recommendations applied to practice that have not been tested previously. For example, perhaps there has been a long practice among scholars to apply a particular theory in explaining the relationship between two subjects of analysis. Your case could challenge this assumption by applying an innovative theoretical framework [perhaps borrowed from another discipline] to the study a case in order to explore whether this approach offers new ways of understanding the research problem. Taking a contrarian stance is one of the most important ways that new knowledge and understanding develops from existing literature.
  • Does the case provide an opportunity to pursue action leading to the resolution of a problem? Another way to think about choosing a case to study is to consider how the results from investigating a particular case may result in findings that reveal ways in which to resolve an existing or emerging problem. For example, studying the case of an unforeseen incident, such as a fatal accident at a railroad crossing, can reveal hidden issues that could be applied to preventative measures that contribute to reducing the chance of accidents in the future. In this example, a case study investigating the accident could lead to a better understanding of where to strategically locate additional signals at other railroad crossings in order to better warn drivers of an approaching train, particularly when visibility is hindered by heavy rain, fog, or at night.
  • Does the case offer a new direction in future research? A case study can be used as a tool for exploratory research that points to a need for further examination of the research problem. A case can be used when there are few studies that help predict an outcome or that establish a clear understanding about how best to proceed in addressing a problem. For example, after conducting a thorough literature review [very important!], you discover that little research exists showing the ways in which women contribute to promoting water conservation in rural communities of Uganda. A case study of how women contribute to saving water in a particular village can lay the foundation for understanding the need for more thorough research that documents how women in their roles as cooks and family caregivers think about water as a valuable resource within their community throughout rural regions of east Africa. The case could also point to the need for scholars to apply feminist theories of work and family to the issue of water conservation.

Eisenhardt, Kathleen M. “Building Theories from Case Study Research.” Academy of Management Review 14 (October 1989): 532-550; Emmel, Nick. Sampling and Choosing Cases in Qualitative Research: A Realist Approach . Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2013; Gerring, John. “What Is a Case Study and What Is It Good for?” American Political Science Review 98 (May 2004): 341-354; Mills, Albert J. , Gabrielle Durepos, and Eiden Wiebe, editors. Encyclopedia of Case Study Research . Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2010; Seawright, Jason and John Gerring. "Case Selection Techniques in Case Study Research." Political Research Quarterly 61 (June 2008): 294-308.

Structure and Writing Style

The purpose of a paper in the social sciences designed around a case study is to thoroughly investigate a subject of analysis in order to reveal a new understanding about the research problem and, in so doing, contributing new knowledge to what is already known from previous studies. In applied social sciences disciplines [e.g., education, social work, public administration, etc.], case studies may also be used to reveal best practices, highlight key programs, or investigate interesting aspects of professional work. In general, the structure of a case study research paper is not all that different from a standard college-level research paper. However, there are subtle differences you should be aware of. Here are the key elements to organizing and writing a case study research paper.

I.  Introduction

As with any research paper, your introduction should serve as a roadmap for your readers to ascertain the scope and purpose of your study . The introduction to a case study research paper, however, should not only describe the research problem and its significance, but you should also succinctly describe why the case is being used and how it relates to addressing the problem. The two elements should be linked. With this in mind, a good introduction answers these four questions:

  • What was I studying? Describe the research problem and describe the subject of analysis you have chosen to address the problem. Explain how they are linked and what elements of the case will help to expand knowledge and understanding about the problem.
  • Why was this topic important to investigate? Describe the significance of the research problem and state why a case study design and the subject of analysis that the paper is designed around is appropriate in addressing the problem.
  • What did we know about this topic before I did this study? Provide background that helps lead the reader into the more in-depth literature review to follow. If applicable, summarize prior case study research applied to the research problem and why it fails to adequately address the research problem. Describe why your case will be useful. If no prior case studies have been used to address the research problem, explain why you have selected this subject of analysis.
  • How will this study advance new knowledge or new ways of understanding? Explain why your case study will be suitable in helping to expand knowledge and understanding about the research problem.

Each of these questions should be addressed in no more than a few paragraphs. Exceptions to this can be when you are addressing a complex research problem or subject of analysis that requires more in-depth background information.

II.  Literature Review

The literature review for a case study research paper is generally structured the same as it is for any college-level research paper. The difference, however, is that the literature review is focused on providing background information and  enabling historical interpretation of the subject of analysis in relation to the research problem the case is intended to address . This includes synthesizing studies that help to:

  • Place relevant works in the context of their contribution to understanding the case study being investigated . This would include summarizing studies that have used a similar subject of analysis to investigate the research problem. If there is literature using the same or a very similar case to study, you need to explain why duplicating past research is important [e.g., conditions have changed; prior studies were conducted long ago, etc.].
  • Describe the relationship each work has to the others under consideration that informs the reader why this case is applicable . Your literature review should include a description of any works that support using the case to study the research problem and the underlying research questions.
  • Identify new ways to interpret prior research using the case study . If applicable, review any research that has examined the research problem using a different research design. Explain how your case study design may reveal new knowledge or a new perspective or that can redirect research in an important new direction.
  • Resolve conflicts amongst seemingly contradictory previous studies . This refers to synthesizing any literature that points to unresolved issues of concern about the research problem and describing how the subject of analysis that forms the case study can help resolve these existing contradictions.
  • Point the way in fulfilling a need for additional research . Your review should examine any literature that lays a foundation for understanding why your case study design and the subject of analysis around which you have designed your study may reveal a new way of approaching the research problem or offer a perspective that points to the need for additional research.
  • Expose any gaps that exist in the literature that the case study could help to fill . Summarize any literature that not only shows how your subject of analysis contributes to understanding the research problem, but how your case contributes to a new way of understanding the problem that prior research has failed to do.
  • Locate your own research within the context of existing literature [very important!] . Collectively, your literature review should always place your case study within the larger domain of prior research about the problem. The overarching purpose of reviewing pertinent literature in a case study paper is to demonstrate that you have thoroughly identified and synthesized prior studies in the context of explaining the relevance of the case in addressing the research problem.

III.  Method

In this section, you explain why you selected a particular subject of analysis to study and the strategy you used to identify and ultimately decide that your case was appropriate in addressing the research problem. The way you describe the methods used varies depending on the type of subject of analysis that frames your case study.

If your subject of analysis is an incident or event . In the social and behavioral sciences, the event or incident that represents the case to be studied is usually bounded by time and place, with a clear beginning and end and with an identifiable location or position relative to its surroundings. The subject of analysis can be a rare or critical event or it can focus on a typical or regular event. The purpose of studying a rare event is to illuminate new ways of thinking about the broader research problem or to test a hypothesis. Critical incident case studies must describe the method by which you identified the event and explain the process by which you determined the validity of this case to inform broader perspectives about the research problem or to reveal new findings. However, the event does not have to be a rare or uniquely significant to support new thinking about the research problem or to challenge an existing hypothesis. For example, Walo, Bull, and Breen conducted a case study to identify and evaluate the direct and indirect economic benefits and costs of a local sports event in the City of Lismore, New South Wales, Australia. The purpose of their study was to provide new insights from measuring the impact of a typical local sports event that prior studies could not measure well because they focused on large "mega-events." Whether the event is rare or not, the methods section should include an explanation of the following characteristics of the event: a) when did it take place; b) what were the underlying circumstances leading to the event; c) what were the consequences of the event.

If your subject of analysis is a person. Explain why you selected this particular individual to be studied and describe what experience he or she has had that provides an opportunity to advance new understandings about the research problem. Mention any background about this person which might help the reader understand the significance of his/her experiences that make them worthy of study. This includes describing the relationships this person has had with other people, institutions, and/or events that support using him or her as the subject for a case study research paper. It is particularly important to differentiate the person as the subject of analysis from others and to succinctly explain how the person relates to examining the research problem.

If your subject of analysis is a place. In general, a case study that investigates a place suggests a subject of analysis that is unique or special in some way and that this uniqueness can be used to build new understanding or knowledge about the research problem. A case study of a place must not only describe its various attributes relevant to the research problem [e.g., physical, social, cultural, economic, political, etc.], but you must state the method by which you determined that this place will illuminate new understandings about the research problem. It is also important to articulate why a particular place as the case for study is being used if similar places also exist [i.e., if you are studying patterns of homeless encampments of veterans in open spaces, why study Echo Park in Los Angeles rather than Griffith Park?]. If applicable, describe what type of human activity involving this place makes it a good choice to study [e.g., prior research reveals Echo Park has more homeless veterans].

If your subject of analysis is a phenomenon. A phenomenon refers to a fact, occurrence, or circumstance that can be studied or observed but with the cause or explanation to be in question. In this sense, a phenomenon that forms your subject of analysis can encompass anything that can be observed or presumed to exist but is not fully understood. In the social and behavioral sciences, the case usually focuses on human interaction within a complex physical, social, economic, cultural, or political system. For example, the phenomenon could be the observation that many vehicles used by ISIS fighters are small trucks with English language advertisements on them. The research problem could be that ISIS fighters are difficult to combat because they are highly mobile. The research questions could be how and by what means are these vehicles used by ISIS being supplied to the militants and how might supply lines to these vehicles be cut? How might knowing the suppliers of these trucks from overseas reveal larger networks of collaborators and financial support? A case study of a phenomenon most often encompasses an in-depth analysis of a cause and effect that is grounded in an interactive relationship between people and their environment in some way.

NOTE:   The choice of the case or set of cases to study cannot appear random. Evidence that supports the method by which you identified and chose your subject of analysis should be linked to the findings from the literature review. Be sure to cite any prior studies that helped you determine that the case you chose was appropriate for investigating the research problem.

IV.  Discussion

The main elements of your discussion section are generally the same as any research paper, but centered around interpreting and drawing conclusions about the key findings from your case study. Note that a general social sciences research paper may contain a separate section to report findings. However, in a paper designed around a case study, it is more common to combine a description of the findings with the discussion about their implications. The objectives of your discussion section should include the following:

Reiterate the Research Problem/State the Major Findings Briefly reiterate the research problem you are investigating and explain why the subject of analysis around which you designed the case study were used. You should then describe the findings revealed from your study of the case using direct, declarative, and succinct proclamation of the study results. Highlight any findings that were unexpected or especially profound.

Explain the Meaning of the Findings and Why They are Important Systematically explain the meaning of your case study findings and why you believe they are important. Begin this part of the section by repeating what you consider to be your most important or surprising finding first, then systematically review each finding. Be sure to thoroughly extrapolate what your analysis of the case can tell the reader about situations or conditions beyond the actual case that was studied while, at the same time, being careful not to misconstrue or conflate a finding that undermines the external validity of your conclusions.

Relate the Findings to Similar Studies No study in the social sciences is so novel or possesses such a restricted focus that it has absolutely no relation to previously published research. The discussion section should relate your case study results to those found in other studies, particularly if questions raised from prior studies served as the motivation for choosing your subject of analysis. This is important because comparing and contrasting the findings of other studies helps to support the overall importance of your results and it highlights how and in what ways your case study design and the subject of analysis differs from prior research about the topic.

Consider Alternative Explanations of the Findings It is important to remember that the purpose of social science research is to discover and not to prove. When writing the discussion section, you should carefully consider all possible explanations for the case study results, rather than just those that fit your hypothesis or prior assumptions and biases. Be alert to what the in-depth analysis of the case may reveal about the research problem, including offering a contrarian perspective to what scholars have stated in prior research.

Acknowledge the Study's Limitations You can state the study's limitations in the conclusion section of your paper but describing the limitations of your subject of analysis in the discussion section provides an opportunity to identify the limitations and explain why they are not significant. This part of the discussion section should also note any unanswered questions or issues your case study could not address. More detailed information about how to document any limitations to your research can be found here .

Suggest Areas for Further Research Although your case study may offer important insights about the research problem, there are likely additional questions related to the problem that remain unanswered or findings that unexpectedly revealed themselves as a result of your in-depth analysis of the case. Be sure that the recommendations for further research are linked to the research problem and that you explain why your recommendations are valid in other contexts and based on the original assumptions of your study.

V.  Conclusion

As with any research paper, you should summarize your conclusion in clear, simple language; emphasize how the findings from your case study differs from or supports prior research and why. Do not simply reiterate the discussion section. Provide a synthesis of key findings presented in the paper to show how these converge to address the research problem. If you haven't already done so in the discussion section, be sure to document the limitations of your case study and needs for further research.

The function of your paper's conclusion is to: 1)  restate the main argument supported by the findings from the analysis of your case; 2) clearly state the context, background, and necessity of pursuing the research problem using a case study design in relation to an issue, controversy, or a gap found from reviewing the literature; and, 3) provide a place for you to persuasively and succinctly restate the significance of your research problem, given that the reader has now been presented with in-depth information about the topic.

Consider the following points to help ensure your conclusion is appropriate:

  • If the argument or purpose of your paper is complex, you may need to summarize these points for your reader.
  • If prior to your conclusion, you have not yet explained the significance of your findings or if you are proceeding inductively, use the conclusion of your paper to describe your main points and explain their significance.
  • Move from a detailed to a general level of consideration of the case study's findings that returns the topic to the context provided by the introduction or within a new context that emerges from your case study findings.

Note that, depending on the discipline you are writing in and your professor's preferences, the concluding paragraph may contain your final reflections on the evidence presented applied to practice or on the essay's central research problem. However, the nature of being introspective about the subject of analysis you have investigated will depend on whether you are explicitly asked to express your observations in this way.

Problems to Avoid

Overgeneralization One of the goals of a case study is to lay a foundation for understanding broader trends and issues applied to similar circumstances. However, be careful when drawing conclusions from your case study. They must be evidence-based and grounded in the results of the study; otherwise, it is merely speculation. Looking at a prior example, it would be incorrect to state that a factor in improving girls access to education in Azerbaijan and the policy implications this may have for improving access in other Muslim nations is due to girls access to social media if there is no documentary evidence from your case study to indicate this. There may be anecdotal evidence that retention rates were better for girls who were on social media, but this observation would only point to the need for further research and would not be a definitive finding if this was not a part of your original research agenda.

Failure to Document Limitations No case is going to reveal all that needs to be understood about a research problem. Therefore, just as you have to clearly state the limitations of a general research study , you must describe the specific limitations inherent in the subject of analysis. For example, the case of studying how women conceptualize the need for water conservation in a village in Uganda could have limited application in other cultural contexts or in areas where fresh water from rivers or lakes is plentiful and, therefore, conservation is understood differently than preserving access to a scarce resource.

Failure to Extrapolate All Possible Implications Just as you don't want to over-generalize from your case study findings, you also have to be thorough in the consideration of all possible outcomes or recommendations derived from your findings. If you do not, your reader may question the validity of your analysis, particularly if you failed to document an obvious outcome from your case study research. For example, in the case of studying the accident at the railroad crossing to evaluate where and what types of warning signals should be located, you failed to take into consideration speed limit signage as well as warning signals. When designing your case study, be sure you have thoroughly addressed all aspects of the problem and do not leave gaps in your analysis.

Case Studies . Writing@CSU. Colorado State University; Gerring, John. Case Study Research: Principles and Practices . New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007; Merriam, Sharan B. Qualitative Research and Case Study Applications in Education . Rev. ed. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 1998; Miller, Lisa L. “The Use of Case Studies in Law and Social Science Research.” Annual Review of Law and Social Science 14 (2018): TBD; Mills, Albert J., Gabrielle Durepos, and Eiden Wiebe, editors. Encyclopedia of Case Study Research . Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2010; Putney, LeAnn Grogan. "Case Study." In Encyclopedia of Research Design , Neil J. Salkind, editor. (Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2010), pp. 116-120; Simons, Helen. Case Study Research in Practice . London: SAGE Publications, 2009;  Kratochwill,  Thomas R. and Joel R. Levin, editors. Single-Case Research Design and Analysis: New Development for Psychology and Education .  Hilldsale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1992; Swanborn, Peter G. Case Study Research: What, Why and How? London : SAGE, 2010; Yin, Robert K. Case Study Research: Design and Methods . 6th edition. Los Angeles, CA, SAGE Publications, 2014; Walo, Maree, Adrian Bull, and Helen Breen. “Achieving Economic Benefits at Local Events: A Case Study of a Local Sports Event.” Festival Management and Event Tourism 4 (1996): 95-106.

Writing Tip

At Least Five Misconceptions about Case Study Research

Social science case studies are often perceived as limited in their ability to create new knowledge because they are not randomly selected and findings cannot be generalized to larger populations. Flyvbjerg examines five misunderstandings about case study research and systematically "corrects" each one. To quote, these are:

Misunderstanding 1 :  General, theoretical [context-independent knowledge is more valuable than concrete, practical (context-dependent) knowledge. Misunderstanding 2 :  One cannot generalize on the basis of an individual case; therefore, the case study cannot contribute to scientific development. Misunderstanding 3 :  The case study is most useful for generating hypotheses; that is, in the first stage of a total research process, whereas other methods are more suitable for hypotheses testing and theory building. Misunderstanding 4 :  The case study contains a bias toward verification, that is, a tendency to confirm the researcher’s preconceived notions. Misunderstanding 5 :  It is often difficult to summarize and develop general propositions and theories on the basis of specific case studies [p. 221].

While writing your paper, think introspectively about how you addressed these misconceptions because to do so can help you strengthen the validity and reliability of your research by clarifying issues of case selection, the testing and challenging of existing assumptions, the interpretation of key findings, and the summation of case outcomes. Think of a case study research paper as a complete, in-depth narrative about the specific properties and key characteristics of your subject of analysis applied to the research problem.

Flyvbjerg, Bent. “Five Misunderstandings About Case-Study Research.” Qualitative Inquiry 12 (April 2006): 219-245.

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THE CHALLENGES OF WOMEN EMPOWERMENT IN ETHIOPIA: SYSTEMATIC LITERATURE REVIEW

  • Getachew Mihret , Jagdish Joshi
  • Published in VIDYA - A JOURNAL OF GUJARAT… 30 June 2024

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The application of machine learning and deep learning in intelligent transportation: a scientometric analysis and qualitative review of research trends.

political science research paper literature review

1. Introduction

2. research methods, 2.1. data collection, 2.2. tools and methods, 2.3. findings, 3. analysis and findings, 3.1. publication outputs, 3.2. co-authorship, 3.2.1. researcher cooperation, 3.2.2. countries, 3.2.3. organizations, 3.3. keyword co-occurrence, 4. qualitative discussion, 4.1. traffic-flow prediction, 4.2. public transportation, 4.3. intelligent traffic data transmission and sharing, 4.4. intelligent transportation system, 4.5. intelligent parking systems.

  • diverse research methods: studies use various ML and DL techniques, including random forest (RF), CatBoost, LSTM, ANN, CNN, and SVM, supplemented with genetic algorithms and Bayesian regularized NN;
  • varied innovative points: innovations use contextual data to predict parking utilization rates, integrate renewable energy sources for electric vehicle charging control, and improve intelligent parking rates through advanced DL;
  • rich empirical conclusions: the results demonstrate that the proposed models and methods significantly enhance parking utilization rates, profitability, accuracy, and reliability.

4.6. Traffic Congestion

4.7. vehicle detection and tracking, 4.8. vehicle identification and license plate number recognition, 4.9. traffic-light and streetlight system, 5. conclusions.

  • developing more sophisticated data processing algorithms and analysis models through the deep integration of big data and artificial intelligence to enhance traffic management and control;
  • enhancing information security and privacy protection by innovating encryption technologies and anonymization methods to safeguard personal data;
  • utilizing ML and other advanced technologies to improve the accuracy of traffic predictions, optimize traffic flow and accident prediction models, and facilitate more precise traffic decisions;
  • pairing quantum technologies with AI to open new research, development, and implementation opportunities (e.g., combinatorial optimization);
  • building cross-departmental data sharing and collaboration platforms to enhance overall efficiency and promote optimal information resource allocation;
  • advancing the development of autonomous vehicle technologies, including autonomous navigation and safe obstacle avoidance systems, will be critical to driving the next wave of innovations in the transportation sector.

Author Contributions

Data availability statement, conflicts of interest, abbreviations.

AMActivation maximization
ANNArtificial neural network
APYAverage year of publication
ARIAdjusted rand index
ATMAutomatic topic modeling
BSBatch size
BiGRUBidirectional gated recurrent unit
BOAButterfly optimization algorithm
BSPBinary space partitioning
BSSBlind source separation
BSVRBayesian support vector regression
BUCBottom-up clustering
CNNConvolutional neural networks
CSCitation score per author
CSTNContinuous surface transition network
DANDeep adaptation network
DBNDeep belief networks
DCRFNNDynamic convolutional recurrent fusion neural network
DLDeep learning
DQNDeep q-network
DTDocument type
EAIExplainable artificial intelligence
ECEvolutionary computation
EdRVFLEnhanced random vector functional link
ELMExtreme learning machine
FDAFisher discriminant analysis
FedSTNFederated spatial transformer network
FLFederated learning
GAGenetic algorithm
GANGenerative adversarial network
GASGather-apply-scatter
GCNGraph convolutional network
GCNNGenetic convolutional neural network
GNNGraph neural network
GRUGate recurrent unit
IDTIntelligent data transform
IoTInternet of Things
IRMInvariant risk minimization
ITSIntelligent transportation systems
KDEKernel density estimation
KNNK-nearest neighbor
LRLogistic regression
LSTMLong short-term memory neural networks
MDNMixture density network
MDPMarkov decision process
MLMachine learning
MLPMulti-layer perceptron
MLRMultiple linear regression
MMNMismatch negativity
MTLMMulti-task learning model
MVSNETMulti-view spatiotemporal network
NBNaive bayes
NNNeural networks
NPNumber of documents per author
POAProbabilistic output analysis
POIPoint of interest
RBFRadial basis function
RBMRestricted Boltzmann machine
RCNNRegions with convolutional neural networks
ResNetResidual network
RFRandom forest
RNNRecurrent neural network
SMOSequential minimal optimization
SVCSupport-vector classification
SVMSupport-vector machine
TBITarget bearing indicator
TFPTraffic-flow prediction
TMSTraffic management systems
WoSWeb of Science
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Click here to enlarge figure

Up-and-Coming Research TopicsNumber of Publications
Traffic-Flow Prediction (TFP)31
Public Transportation19
Intelligent Traffic Data Transmission and Sharing16
Intelligent Transportation System (ITS)13
Smart Parking12
Traffic Congestion7
Vehicle Detection and Tracking6
Vehicle Identification and License Plate Number Recognition5
Traffic-Light and Streetlight System4
ArticlesApproachResearch InnovationData PreprocessingEmpirical ConclusionLimitationsProposed Future
[ ]SMO, BiGRUSMO algorithm for hyperparameter adjustmentMin–max normalization approachSMOBGRU-TP model outperforms the existing technology-(1) Combine mixed DL models
(2) Improve the efficiency of SMOBGRU-TP method
[ ]LSTM, RNNNoise pollution and time-series data for better predictionData InterpolationAdding noise data improves the performance by 13.48%-Reduce specialization of sensing infrastructure using feature profiles and AI technology
[ ]FL, GCNNTrusted authority principle integrated into federated learning for model data protection-FDL-TF outperforms baseline solution--
[ ]GCNStudy of superparameter optimization of T-GCNMin–max normalization approachThe superparameter optimizer selects T-GCN’s optimal hyperparameters -
[ ]EC, DCRFNNShort-term traffic-flow prediction model for 5g Internet of vehicles based on EC and DL-Ensure good unloading performance and high prediction performanceNo suitable task-scheduling algorithm is proposedTraffic-accident risk prediction
[ ]RNN, GCNNSpatiotemporal correlation obtained from traffic network-Better than the most advanced baseline model-Consider external factors that determine traffic forecasts
[ ]FedSTNPrivacy issues addressed in distributed traffic data-FedSTN has a higher prediction accuracy-Real-time path planning through traffic-flow prediction
[ ]CONV-BI-LSTMTraffic forecasting using Industry 4.0 and big-data analysis-CONV-BI-LSTM is the top choice for short-term prediction--
[ ]PVHH, IDT, Ford-FulkersonNode intelligent prediction is performed on specific nodes-Good prediction effectProblems in prediction accuracy and timeStudy of time lag and unpredictable factors
[ ]EdRVFL, RF, GCN, BOAAccurate counting of moving targets under different weather conditions-This method excels when connections are unavailable or too complex--
[ ]LSTMUtilization of large-scale taxi GPS trajectories and environmental information-Detection and tracking accuracy increase by 10%, cutting errors by approximately 50%Weather conditions are described using only qualitative variables, such as sunny and rainy weatherConsidering quantitative and human factors
[ ]RBM, SVMApplication of recurrent mixed density networks for short-term traffic-flow predictionMap matching algorithmO-Sense can effectively improve the accuracy of travel cost estimation--
[ ]LSTM, MDNBig-data architecture and real-time prediction model proposed-This method demonstrates significant superiority--
[ ]LSTM, GRUTraffic-flow prediction using technologies such as bagging and air pollution When assessing January 2020 data, its predictions were highly accurateCOVID-19 impacts prediction accuracy after January 2020Extend the initiative to the entirety of California
[ ]KNNDynamic correlation of transportation nodes integrated with spatiotemporal DL modelsMean/median method, Z-score, Min–max normalizationReduce the error rate of traffic-congestion prediction by more than 30%-(1) Study of the impact of different seasons on traffic flow
(2) Combine satellite traffic measurements with ground-sensor values
[ ]GCN, Spatiotemporal DL modelAdaptation to high mobility and frequent changes in the networkZ-score normalizationOutperforms state-of-the-art GNN baselines-(1) Integrate different GCN-based DL models
(2) Integrate the captured features into traffic prediction
[ ]LSTMParameters and operation time reducedHandling abnormal dataHigh accuracy is achieved in industrial 4.0 applications--
[ ]CNN, GNNHigh-precision traffic forecasting achievedLinear interpolation methodImproved results in short- and long-term forecastingNot considering all kinds of accidentsConsider more factors to improve the model
[ ]CNN, LSTM, AM, XGBoostTraffic-flow estimation considering external factorsMin–max normalization approachThe model has low prediction error and performs wellLack of fine-grained stop point identification for signaling users-
[ ]DBN, POAInitial step towards sensor practicability in urban managementMin–max normalization approachAST2FP-OHDBN outperforms the current state-of-the-art DL model-Design hybrid metaheuristics to enhance prediction results
[ ]GNN, LSTMMigration learning is used to address data scarcity The MSE value of the model is 6.309, MAE value is 2.256, RMSE value is 2.511Other weather factors and track characteristics are not considered during training(1) Explore the optimal value of input parameters
(2) Consider other factors affecting traffic flow
[ ]CNN, LSTMMethod proposed for analyzing cellular communication dataMin–max normalization approachIt is the best way to predict traffic flow through traffic counters on the roadSARIMA can only predict for one hourPlan to test a new anomaly detection algorithm
[ ]LSTMHierarchical information considering spatial interactionMin–max normalization approachMgat model is superior to the most advanced method--
[ ]GCN, KNNComplex dynamics and spatial relationship of mobile traffic demand captured-Enhance cellular network traffic prediction accuracy significantly Expand the scope of data collection
[ ]GCN, GRUModel learning mechanisms guided by prior domain knowledge-Model increased RMSE and MAPE by approximately 8.4–29.5% and 7.5–30.6%Study of the impact of different spatial embedded networks-
[ ]RNN, LSTMEnd-to-end solution for capturing cross-domain knowledge automaticallyMin–max normalization approachGASTN can outperform the current state baseline with a faster running time-Explore a GCN method for mobile traffic prediction based on a spatial relationship graph
[ ]GANParallel spatiotemporal DL network for learning features from time and space dimensionsMin–max normalization approachThis method has the highest accuracy, reaching 98.21%-Create a model that works effectively in both typical and unusual situations
[ ]DAN, LSTMComplex patterns and dynamics of urban transportation systems captured-The model has excellent performance in spatiotemporal data migration learning-(1) Further apply ST-DAAN to traffic-flow prediction
(2) POI recommendation tasks
[ ]CNN, LSTMTrusted authority principle integrated into federated learning for model data protection-Parallel spatiotemporal DL network outperforms competitors-Advanced DL architecture for large-scale traffic-flow prediction
[ ]RBFStudy on superparameter optimization of T-GCNEliminate noise, outliers, and missing valuesThe method based on depth RBF is superior to the traditional traffic analysis methodThe effectiveness of the model in various situations needs to be strictly testedStudy of the applicability of deep RBF networks in other fields
ArticlesApproachResearch InnovationData PreprocessingEmpirical ConclusionLimitationsProposed Future
[ ]GCN, CNN, LSTM, Res NetModeling complex nonlinear spatiotemporal relationships It shows different prediction accuracy in different regionsThere are still deficiencies in the interpretation of the modelConsider improving LSTM and exploring layered attention
[ ]TBIPassenger-flow forecast using vehicle GPS recordsData cleaning, matching, and organizationThe method outperforms time-series-based predictions for long-term taxi flow.-Real-time prediction architecture based on TBI2Flow
[ ]DNNIntegration of feature engineering technology with deep neural network for effective forecasting-The performance gain of the model is 25–37%, which is higher than the most advanced model on the standard benchmark index-Expect to perform well in weather forecasting, traffic-speed forecasting, and many other fields
[ ]RFQuantitative analysis method for regional shared travel potential mining-If carpooling is adopted, the emission-reduction effect can be well reflectedDid not take a personal attitude towards carpooling into considerationFurther investigate the attitude towards carpooling
[ ]XGBoost, CSTNExtraction of micro and macro spatial characteristics from urban taxi service demand dataMin–max normalization approachMultisensory stimulation attention and multi-periodic feature learning are shown to be effective.-(1) Expand MSSA by learning more cyclical patterns
(2) Merge more context information
[ ]IDTTaxi cruise recommendation strategy based on real-time and historical trajectory data TR-RHT can accurately recommend the cruising route for cruising time reduction --
[ ]DT, SVC, NB, LR, RFTransit congestion detection method based on opportunity perception-Over 80% congestion can be detected when used by 8–12% of commuters--
[ ]BuStopDwell position extraction from multimodal sensing using commuter’s smartphones-The framework can accurately detect various dwell positions--
[ ]FDA, BSVRQuantification of uncertainty for robust performance improvement-FDA’s predictions are highly accurate and effective at forecasting travel time distribution uncertainty--
[ ]CheetahVISDynamic bus routes provided to help users identify traffic flow Proved the effectiveness of CheetahVIS--
[ ]PubtraVisNew visualization tool developed for public transportation system operationData cleaning, reorganization, extraction, and filteringPubtraVis is a highly beneficial and user-friendly tool“Ease of use” needs improvement(1) Use GTFS static data
(2) Real-time data to develop additional visual analysis module
[ ]SVR, RF, Adaboost, GBRT, XGBoost, MLPImproved accuracy in estimating car-hailing trip mobility-This model outperforms other benchmarks in estimating car-hailing trip mobilityUse diverse geographic context features to measure the replaceability of locationConsider individual travel behavior in mobility modeling
[ ]MVST-NETUrban big data is used to predict shared bicycle travel behaviorMin–max normalization approachThe model has good performance in various tested models-Performance improvement of analytical methods to make them more interpretable
[ ]Bi-LSTMForecasting available bicycles and free slots at shared bicycle stations-It provides a powerful method for reliable and fast prediction of available bicycles--
[ ]BSSBicycle rebalancing solution in bike sharing system (BSS) The proposed method outperforms the relocation manager in terms of bicycle shortage and task difficulty--
[ ]STOPFramework proposed for predicting shared station occupancy using Bayesian and association classifiers-Shows the usefulness of maintenance actions based on short-term forecasts and readable models-Enrich station occupancy data
[ ]IRM, GNN, RNNDL-based bicycle-demand forecasting model introduced The model has higher R2, lower RMSE, and MAE and has a better prediction effectThis study is limited to possible influencing factorsExplore the impact of social population, traffic flow, and weather
[ ]Attention-Based Model, CNNAdvance prediction of potential destinations for rescheduling artificial bicycles The proposed framework excels in precision, recall, and F1 compared to top-tier methods-Simulate other relevant factors to provide better prediction of shared bicycle destinations
ArticlesApproachResearch InnovationData PreprocessingEmpirical ConclusionLimitationsProposed Future
[ ]Logistic Regression, ANN, DT, KNN, RFPredict accident severity using various classification models-The average accuracy of the decision tree (DT) model is the highest, which is 71.44%--
[ ]RNN, GAN, SVM, CNN, MMNSolve traffic-accident detection issues with semi-supervised DL and different data patterns-GAN outperforms other models’ accuracy and classification F1, with or without multimodal dataFocus only on traffic-sensor data and text dataHandle more types of data for other smart-city applications
[ ]DT, RF, MLR, NBDiscuss a paper on data models for road traffic accidents and propose prediction models The results are relatively good (the accuracy is 60–80%)-Reduce the imbalance ratio of labels before inputting data sets into the model for training
[ ]BLM, SVM, XGBoost, XAIGather high-quality data to infer different factors in urban road traffic accidents-SVM shows the highest performance in accuracy and F1 score--
[ ]XGBoost, CatBoost, LightGBM, DT, RF, Stacked DCL-XClassify the injuries caused by vehicle–pedestrian and vehicle–obstacle collisions The overlapping DCL-X model has better stability, less super parameters, and higher accuracy under different training data--
[ ]Faster R-CNNIntroduce Faster R-CNN to extract IoT electronic data features-The faster R-CNN algorithm has stronger robustness and reliability in its data collection and analysisElectronic traffic data are not clearly classified, and influence factors are not considered(1) Accurately identify its projects
(2) Optimize the designed model to obtain traffic information better
[ ]GAS, BSPAddress and overcome research challenges in IVN data processing-GPU-based graphics processing technology can achieve excellent performance on IVN data-Focus on other aspects of IVN data processing
[ ]VehiclectronPropose a new model to accurately estimate road vehicle cuboids using single-view sensors and road geometry information-Feasibility and applicability are confirmed via CCTV-captured real-road images3D box estimation depends on the target-detection modelProvide accurate information in the field of intelligent traffic recognition and control
[ ]KDEBuild a traffic visualization management system based on improved ML algorithms-The method in this paper is critical for smart-city traffic management--
[ ]BDDiscuss the application of BDA in constructing large-scale sensor data and modeling autonomous vehicles The feasibility and effectiveness of the model are verified-Content-based sensor data management and process
[ ]ARI, KNNDevelop a method to predict the psychophysiological load affecting driving safety using vehicle manipulation dataMin–max normalization approachCompared with previous models, the performance of this model is relatively low-(1) Collect data from different road environments
(2) Evaluate the transferability of the proposed model
[ ]Bagging, Boosting, ANNDevelop a method to predict high-risk bus drivers as a benchmark for effective bus safety policies-The classification accuracy of the model reaches 85%Focus only on the relationship between dangerous driving behavior and collisionThe proposed neural network model can be further improved
[ ]3D- LTSPropose a driver yawning detection method based on subtle facial motion recognition-It can detect yawning robustness in various external environmentsLow image resolution and large camera vibration reduce the effectiveness of the methodUse better image preprocessing methods
[ ]CNN, SVMPropose an ML algorithm based on smart devices and IoT network firewalls to protect data traffic-The hybrid DL model has effectiveness and high accuracy--
[ ]EEMR, BUC, TAdamDesign efficient multi-hop routing for intelligent traffic wireless sensor networks-It provides a new reference for improving the transmission and sharing efficiency of intelligent transportation data-Use edge computing, principal component analysis, and other methods to achieve data dimensionality reduction and rapid processing
[ ]CNNDevelop a new framework based on artificial intelligence (AI) to predict traffic conditions on densely deployed IoT networks-Compared with the existing traditional CNN model, LTP-CNN has higher prediction efficiency--
ArticlesApproachResearch InnovationEmpirical ConclusionLimitationsProposed Future
[ ]LTSMEstablish ML framework for smart traffic, achieve optimal accuracyImplementing intelligent transportation systems improves transportation and air quality-Explore the impact of intelligent transportation on the environment and supply chain
[ ]LSTM, Bayesian optimizationApply DL for traffic pattern detection using smartphone dataExtensive experiments demonstrate a high recognition rate and efficiencyTraining requires ample labeled data and computational complexityThe model is more robust to diverse user behaviors and optimized for its computational efficiency
[ ]DT, RF, ET, XGBoostPropose an intelligent traffic system for the IOV network with tree MLHigh detection accuracy and low computational costs are key features--
[ ]Hadoop, Spark DLIntroduce City Administration Dashboard for urban traffic analysisRoad network prediction accuracy reaches 94.05%Suitability, data privacy, and security for specific city environments-
[ ]CNNImplement resource load balancing and DL for real-time schedulingATM system outperforms traditional traffic management methodsApplicability to the specific urban environment, generalization ability of modelImprove data processing and transmission efficiency
[ ]ATMEnhance travel pattern extraction and path estimation with U-Net and GNNRMSE, MAE, and MAPE are 4%, 20.49%, and 18%, respectivelyDependence on infrastructure and vehicle equipmentConsider a variety of traffic situations
[ ]U-Net, GNNIdentify malicious traffic in SDN-based Internet of VehiclesEnhanced attack detection reduces latency and prevents buffer overflow issues-Extend the study to other urban traffic datasets
[ ]Fuzzy, logicIntroduce the ST-GCRN model for traffic-flow estimationBike-sharing system errors reduced by 98% and 63% in the estimation--
[ ]GCN, LSTMPropose MTLM model for travel time estimationReal-world data sets have been extensively experimented on--
[ ]MTLMBatam City Government adopts smart mobility for sustainable transportationOptimal implementation and sustainable approach are yet to be fully realized-Extend the datasets to other cities or transit systems
[ ]Qualitative analysis research methodSafePath algorithm ensures differential privacy with minimal data impactSafePath enhances efficiency and scalability for large and sparse data situations--
[ ]SafePathEstablish ML framework for smart traffic, achieve optimal accuracyImplementing intelligent transportation systems improves transportation and air quality--
ArticlesApproachResearch InnovationEmpirical ConclusionLimitationsProposed Future
[ ]RF, CatBoostEvaluate RF and CatBoost for MLUsing context data has a positive impact on parking utilization prediction-Use POI data as context data
[ ]LSTMStudy of electric vehicle presence in urban IoTProper EV charging control boosts profits-Use renewable energy input in the model
[ ]LSTMIdentify optimal predictive model in ML and DLThe results obtained improve the existing results in the literature--
[ ]ANNUse ANN for parking-space data collectionThe proposed method improves the intelligent parking rate through DL-Use genetic algorithm and neural network for training
[ ]LSTMDevelop a mobile smart parking app with DLHigh accuracy and reliability-Investigate the influence of parking lots on traffic density under different parameters
[ ]CNN, LSTM, GAEstablish a parking-space availability systemCompared to existing states, this model has better performance-Study of traffic density under different parameters
[ ]ANN, SVM, ARIMA, RNNPredict available parking in city garagesBayesian regularized neural network is a reliable and fast time-period prediction method--
[ ]IoTAddress tourist city parking layout issuesSimple and easy to operate, with low requirements for data accuracy--
[ ]CNN, ELMPropose parking-spot detection with CNN and ELMThe CNN elm method outperforms other hybrid CNN models using different classifiers-Verify the performance of CNN-ELM on other parking datasets
[ ]IoT, LSTMPredict parking availability via IoT, cloud, and sensorsThe proposed model is superior to the most advanced prediction model at presentOnly parking space occupancy information is considered without considering weather conditions and social eventsConsider weather conditions, social event information, and parking-lot occupancy information
ArticlesApproachResearch InnovationEmpirical ConclusionLimitationsProposed Future
[ ]FITCCS-VNRemote viewing of road traffic flow and vehicle volumeThe system achieves an accuracy of 95% and a miss rate of 5%-
[ ]Logit, SVMCommon multivariate outlier detection methodsOutlier detection plays an important role in discovering useful and valuable information-(1) Identify variables with high discriminatory power
(2) Apply the algorithms to various road types in a smart city
[ ]DNNTC2S-DNN model integrates IoT and DL for congestion forecastThe performance of the TC2S-DNN model is reported to be better than previously published approachesIf the information is obtained in delay, or there is too much noise by the signal sensors. It can be influenced by the output of the proposed solution-
[ ]Deep double-Q learningAdaptive traffic signal adjustments based on vehicle typesThe average waiting time at intersection points by up to 91.7%The sampled data is biased and not exactly the same or the same distribution-
[ ]Hybrid Neuro-FuzzyEnhance congestion prediction accuracy with IoT sensor dataThe model has an even higher accuracy of 99.214% during the training phase--
[ ]AFTApply survival analysis methods for congestion assessmentThe results show a dramatic improvement in data quality and successful evaluation of traffic conditions with high reliability-Apply proposed methods for effective traffic control and management in smart cities
[ ]C-V2X networkOptimize cellular AP and vehicle throughput with user-AP associationsResults confirm the effectiveness and superiority of the traffic offloading method via DL in CV2X networks--
ArticlesApproachResearch InnovationEmpirical ConclusionLimitationsProposed Future
[ ]EKF, NN, SVMIntegrating data from GPS augmentation and low-cost DR systemsEKF/SVM trained with particle-swarm optimization is more suitable for localizationGPS quality may decrease in actual situationsResearch on vehicle prototype based on Arduino
[ ]-Adapt to time-varying and unbalanced tracking workloads caused by traffic dynamicsShows 100% tracking coverage and real-time assurance--
[ ]EKF, SVM, RFUsing SVM to overcome the shortage of EKF when the GPS signal is interruptedExperience 94% improvement over simple EKF predictionWhen interrupted, GPS quality will decrease(1) Test and improve this hybrid solution in case of GPS interruption
(2) Combine this method with a distributed algorithm
[ ]EKF, SVM, Faster R-CNNAn intelligent vision sensor is preset for the detection and tracking of synchronous attitude estimationIntegrating vehicle position and attitude into EKF enhances tracking results--
[ ]RetinaNetUsing RetinaNet architecture and Cars Overhead with Context dataset to find vehicles in satellite imagesThe model has good vehicle-detection accuracy and low detection time-(1) Expand experimental evaluation and conduct ablation experiments
(2) Enhance the model with a street-detection model
[ ]DNNA vehicle detection and tracking method in bad weather conditions is proposedThis method is superior to the most advanced method under adverse weather conditions-Some hard cases still need more attention and improvement
ArticlesApproachResearch InnovationEmpirical ConclusionLimitationsProposed Future
[ ]CNNCNN for vehicle feature extractionThe accuracy of the CNN model was evaluated based on the confidence values of the detected objectsThe larger and lower size of the image can affect the validation process(1) Expand the system to include more vehicle types
(2) Improve the accuracy and robustness of the model
[ ]DLVLPNR modelFast R-CNN with Inception V2 and Tesseract OCR for license plate recognitionThe DL-VLPNR model can achieve optimal detection and recognition performance, as it attained the highest accuracy of 0.986-Handle more diverse conditions and integration into real-time applications for smart-city management
[ ]RCNNExtending vehicle ID for counting and analysis The average accuracy of the proposed method is 90.4% Increasing the number after some time, the network goes into the stage of overfitting, and the accuracy of the network decreasesOptimize the method for enhanced performance
[ ] Deep active learning frameworkMemory space for active learning in vehicle-type recognitionOver 90% accuracy for 20 vehicle typesThe sample data is biased and does not have the same distribution-
ArticlesApproachResearch InnovationEmpirical ConclusionLimitationsProposed Future
[ ]RL, DQNA dynamic discount factor is embedded in the iterative Bellman equation to prevent bias in the estimation of the action value functionThe trained agent outperforms the fixed timing plan, cutting total system delay by 20%-Apply DRL to multiple intersections
[ ]RLCombining speed guidance system with traffic-signal control based on reinforcement learningThe proposed method is superior to a fixed timing plan and traditional drive control-(1) Add offset optimization to signal timing optimization
(2) Use V2V communication and dynamic velocity guidance strategy
[ ]MDP, RLKS-DDPG is proposed to achieve optimal control by enhancing the cooperation between traffic signalsKS-DDPG significantly boosts large-scale traffic network control and handles flow fluctuations effectivelyAll agents need to communicate, resulting in limited overall communication efficiencyConsider using heterogeneous vehicles to build a more realistic traffic flow
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Share and Cite

Zhang, J.; Wang, J.; Zang, H.; Ma, N.; Skitmore, M.; Qu, Z.; Skulmoski, G.; Chen, J. The Application of Machine Learning and Deep Learning in Intelligent Transportation: A Scientometric Analysis and Qualitative Review of Research Trends. Sustainability 2024 , 16 , 5879. https://doi.org/10.3390/su16145879

Zhang J, Wang J, Zang H, Ma N, Skitmore M, Qu Z, Skulmoski G, Chen J. The Application of Machine Learning and Deep Learning in Intelligent Transportation: A Scientometric Analysis and Qualitative Review of Research Trends. Sustainability . 2024; 16(14):5879. https://doi.org/10.3390/su16145879

Zhang, Junkai, Jun Wang, Haoyu Zang, Ning Ma, Martin Skitmore, Ziyi Qu, Greg Skulmoski, and Jianli Chen. 2024. "The Application of Machine Learning and Deep Learning in Intelligent Transportation: A Scientometric Analysis and Qualitative Review of Research Trends" Sustainability 16, no. 14: 5879. https://doi.org/10.3390/su16145879

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  1. Political Science Subject Guide: Literature Reviews

    Systematic Approaches to a Successful Literature Review by Andrew Booth; Anthea Sutton; Diana Papaioannou Showing you how to take a structured and organized approach to a wide range of literature review types, this book helps you to choose which approach is right for your research. Packed with constructive tools, examples, case studies and hands-on exercises, the book covers the full range of ...

  2. What is a Literature Review?

    A literature review provides an overview of the scholarly literature (e.g. books, articles, dissertations, proceedings) relevant to an area of research or theory. The review typically will include a summary of the major questions in a area and critical evaluations of work that has already been done. Literature reviews are also helpful for their ...

  3. Political Science: Conducting a Literature Review

    As a piece of writing, the literature review must be defined by a guiding concept (e.g., your research objective, the problem or issue you are discussing, or your argumentative thesis). It is not just a descriptive list of the material available, or a set of summaries." From Yale University Library "The Literature Review: A Few Tips on Writing ...

  4. Literature Reviews

    The three elements of a literature review are introduction, body, and conclusion. Introduction. Define the topic of the literature review, including any terminology. Introduce the central theme and organization of the literature review. Summarize the state of research on the topic. Frame the literature review with your research question.

  5. The Literature Review

    Knopf, Jeffrey W. "Doing a Literature Review," PS: Political Science & Politics 39:1, 127-132. Abstract: Educator and naval postgraduate school professor Knopf presents a brief and wholly comprehensive summary of what is a literature review and how to write one. He also discusses some other interesting issue to consider, like contributions ...

  6. Literature Reviews

    Definition: A Literature Review surveys scholarly source materials that are relevant to a person's research thesis/problem and/or a particular issue or theory. It also provides a critical analysis that summarizes and synthesizes the source materials while also demonstrating how a person's research pertains to or fits within the larger ...

  7. Doing a Literature Review

    A literature review is: a summary and evaluation of the significant research and/or theory published on a topic. organized in a way that analyzes, integrates, and shows the relationship between research studies, as well as the way each has contributed to an understanding of the topic. NOT just an annotated bibliography.

  8. Research Guides: Political Science: Doing a Literature Review

    covers the world's leading scholarly literature in the sciences, social sciences, arts, and humanities and examines proceedings of international conferences, symposia, seminars, colloquia, workshops, and conventions. It also includes cited references and citation mapping functions. Searches can be done by:

  9. Literature Reviews

    A literature review is an examination of existing primary and secondary scholarly literature, including books, journal articles, working papers, and other scholarly materials. A literature review can be as brief as a one-page summary, or as comprehensive as a full-length scholarly article such as those found in the Annual Reviews. Literature ...

  10. McQuade LibGuides: Political Science: Literature Review

    A literature review may constitute an essential chapter of a thesis or dissertation, or may be a self-contained review of writings on a subject. In either case, its purpose is to: Place each work in the context of its contribution to the understanding of the subject under review. Describe the relationship of each work to the others under ...

  11. Research by Subject: Political Science: Literature Reviews

    What is a literature review? A literature review discusses published information in a particular subject area. It can be just a simple summary of the sources, but it usually has an organizational pattern and combines both summary and synthesis.A summary is a recap of the important information of the source, but a synthesis is a re-organization, or a reshuffling, of that information.

  12. Doing a Literature Review

    Extract. Students entering a graduate program often encounter a new type of assignment that differs from the papers they had to write in high school or as college undergraduates: the literature review (also known as a critical review essay). Put briefly, a literature review summarizes and evaluates a body of writings about a specific topic.

  13. LibGuides: POSC 325: Political Analysis: Literature Review Tips

    The Literature Review. The literature review is meant to serve as preliminary research, conducted before you write a research paper. You conduct this review of the literature after you develop a topic that interests you, and before you solidify your position. It is both a summary and a general timeline of research done on the subject you're ...

  14. Literature Reviews

    A literature review is an explanation of what has been published on a subject by recognized researchers. Occasionally you will be asked to write one as a separate assignment (sometimes in the form of an annotated bibliography--, but more often it is part of the introduction to a research report, essay, thesis or dissertation.) Critical literature reviews help to write your literature review ...

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    A literature review is a comprehensive summary of previous research on a topic. The literature review surveys scholarly articles, books, and other sources relevant to a particular area of research. The review should enumerate, describe, summarize, objectively evaluate and clarify this previous research. It should give a theoretical base for the ...

  16. Literature Reviews

    Doing a Literature Review in Political Science. From the abstract: "Students entering a graduate program often encounter a new type of assignment that differs from the papers they had to write in high school or as college undergraduates: the literature review (also known as a critical review essay). Put briefly, a literature review summarizes ...

  17. Literature Review

    "The Annual Review of Political Science, in publication since 1998, covers significant developments in the field of Political Science including political theory and philosophy, international relations, political economy, political behavior, American and comparative politics, public administration and policy, and methodology."

  18. Guide for Writing in Political Science

    The first step of conducting research in political science begins before you start drafting your essay, with formulation of a research question, puzzle, or problem. ... If you are writing a fully developed research paper, the literature review section should also demonstrate a clear grasp of different schools of thought in the discipline ...

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  20. PDF How to Write a Political Science Research Proposal

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    populism is confrontational, chameleonic, culture-bound and context-dependent" (Arter 2010, 490); the challenge, then, is to understand how culture and context shape populist politics and. how populism in turn affects political change. First, populism, in its various forms, is prevalent across countries and regions. For.

  23. PDF Literature Review Directions

    Just like most of your academic papers, literature reviews also must contain the following three basic elements: • Introduction-gives a quick idea of the topic of the literature review, such as the central theme or organizational pattern. • Body-contains your discussion of sources and is organized either chronologically or thematically.

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    This tab focuses on the latter--how to design and organize a research paper in the social sciences that analyzes a specific case. ... American Political Science Review 98 (May 2004): 341-354; Mills, ... The literature review for a case study research paper is generally structured the same as it is for any college-level research paper.

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