Literature Review

Social research is rather challenging, especially when a student gets to a more advanced level of learning where he or she is required to write theses and dissertation papers. Writing such assignments is an uphill task since a student is required to conduct authoritative literature review. There are a number of literature reviews on different disciplines, which various scholars have written. When a student does a literature review, proper citation and referencing skills are required to acknowledge the work of various authors.

In sociology, sound literature reviews have been achieved in theoretical studies. For example, in his conflict theory, Karl Marx analyzed major social classes that existed in the society. These were the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. The bourgeoisie were the capitalists who own the means of production while the proletariats were the wage laborers who worked for minimal wages under very harsh and unfavorable work environments. In this literature review according to Marx, there was a class conflict between the poor and the rich. The rich class wanted to reap maximum benefits at the expense of the poor majority. In his writings, Marx argued that the only solution to this social was a constant struggle and a revolution to overthrow the rich ruling class, and this would consequently lead to a classless society that is devoid of the rich dominance.

When reviewing such a literature, as put forward by Karl Marx, a scholar needs to form a critique of such a theory. A sociology student should come up with the strengths and limitations of such a theory. In doing so, a student can reject, modify or validate the theory, based on the literature review.

Literature review example


The review of scholarly articles, aimed at finding relevant information refers to literature review. When doing research, it is necessary that the researcher examines related research articles for more insight on the topic being investigated (Cooley, 2000). The rationale for literature review is to enable the researcher to be at par with the topic of study. In essence, any research that does not make reference to other similar works loses the credential of the discipline; since valuable information usually assists in the overall research.


Literature review is essential in doing research since the researcher might not be the first to do the particular research. In real sense, a thorough literature review makes the research easier as compared to doing plain research. The secondary data received from the review of related information may give the required leads, which assist the researcher to get more information useful to the study (Cooley, 2000). Normally, the quality of research is arrived at through comparing the findings of the study to those of the available literature. This means the researcher has to make certain comparison and be able to credit or discredit the findings, as either useful or not useful respectively.

In addition, it is through thorough literature review that an article gains the professional credential, and could be used to assist future researchers. Therefore, any research done ought to follow the guidelines and supported by reliable information retrieved from trusted sources.


In summary, it is noted that literature review is the most useful aspect of a study and that researchers have to do thorough review of the available secondary information. In addition, the review also assists researchers to gain vital information that may aid the final field study.