A literature review, though it has some of the same qualities as a traditional research paper, serves a different aim. As mentioned, researchers must explore existing social work research in their topic by writing a literature review which situates their proposed study among other studies in the field. In this way, the various research studies “talk to each other” by telling a story about the current state of knowledge on a social work topic. It’s a good idea to keep your research question in flux while you explore the literature and to tweak it or take it in a new direction based on what you see. Why might that be?
In this Discussion, you explore the function of a literature review in the research process and consider the ramifications of deciding on a research question too early, before thoroughly surveying the existing literature.
- Review the Learning Resources on literature reviews.
- Critically think about the research process and whether a research question or a literature review should be generated first.
By Day 3
Post your explanation of how a literature review differs from a traditional research paper for a course. In your explanation, address the function of a literature review. Finally, describe potential consequences of deciding on a research question without conducting a thorough review of the literature. Please use the Learning Resources to support your post (i.e., cite and reference).