Hi everyone. In this video we will get introduced to review of literature, a very important element in all research writing. Whether you have to write an academic paper or an assignment, a review of relevant literature is generally expected in the first part of the paper. In this video, we will understand what a review exactly is and why it occupies this crucial place in the research writing. What exactly is a literature review? The literature review arises from a fundamental feature of research. That research is not a solitary act, but always in reference to what other scholars have said about our theme of research. Researcher is more akin to entering a conversation already in progress about your research topic. You as a researcher, enter this conversation, agreeing with some scholars, questioning some scholar's perspective and putting forward your own. When you're writing your papers or dissertation, it is this conversation that is represented in the form of a review of literature. What you're essentially doing in a review of literature is that you're locating your research within the existing perspectives and prior research. Also, without taking stock of what has already happened in one area of research, our research questions will neither be sharp nor accurate. Review of literature also enables scholars to engage with existing perspectives on their research, as well as the gaps which needs to be addressed in their area. In the Figure 1 here, we see that simply saying that the characters in the American TV series, The Sopranos are complex, might not make sense to the audience who might not know what the context of your claim is. But look at Figure 2 here. It is only when the speaker places their claim in relation to other peoples claim that it makes sense. If the dominant understanding is that the characters in this series are simply caricatures of Italian-Americans, then the author saying that these characters are in fact complex presence and interesting claim, which will help the audience understand why this claim might be interesting or irrelevant. According to Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein, authors of a well-known book on Strategies of Academic Writing, effective persuasive writers do more than make well-supported claims. That is, I say. They also map those claims relative to the claims of others. That is, they say. Exactly like we saw in the figures in the preceding slide. For Graff and Birkenstein then they say, I say, is a central rhetorical move that we rely upon while making an argument. Review of literature also relies fundamentally on this rhetorical move of they say, I say. While the title, a literature review suggests that this section will cover what other research has to say, it is very important to remember that a good review is a story about your research question or your research topic. It is a narrative that you tell about your research based upon what other scholars have written and said about this topic. In that sense, the star of the review of literature is not what other scholars have written or said, but it is your research question and what others have said in relation to your research question. This is a crucial characteristic to remember about the review of literature. If we are not mindful of the centrality of our research question, the review of literature can easily run into the danger of becoming an endless list of reporting what every scholar has said about your broad research theme without a rationale to it. To avoid this from happening, it is very useful to think of the review as making the literature work for my argument or research question. Many younger scholars feel that it is the vast literature on their research topic that drives the review of literature. The thinking of the review in this manner helps shift this role of driver of the review from the literature to you, the researcher. How? You may ask. That is because you are utilizing insights from the literature to build the narrative of the research, rather than the literature driving you. You are making an active choice of including or excluding certain literature in order to construct your argument. You are also making an active choice of ordering your literature in a way that it leads to your question. Writing a good review of literature, however, calls for some specific skills in the genre of academic writing. These skills are not just specific for writing the review, but are relevant for overall communication in this genre. In order that we are able to communicate vast literature on our research topic in limited space, the ability to succinctly summarize academic articles, or chapters, or essays is of utmost value. At times while writing a review, it is not enough to merely summarize the central argument of a text, but we also need to cite specific parts of the article in order to provide evidence for specific points that we want to make. In this case, an academic writer needs to know how to choose the relevant part of the text in order to cite a specific idea. This could be in the form of a quote from the text or by paraphrasing that idea from the text. A review essentially entails including a vast breadth of literature on one's research topic. Many writers easily get overwhelmed when faced with a huge swath of articles, book chapters, essays on their research topic, not sure how to organize it all in a coherent narrative. Hence, a crucial ability to write a review also includes the ability to organize one's literature into categories and subcategories and take a call on recognizing which literature is not relevant. Lastly, one of the most important characteristics of building a narrative about your research is to draw creative connections between the multiple texts that we include in the review. As we have already learned, a review is not merely a list of who has said what about your research topic, but it is a carefully woven narrative about your research topic. How do we weave this narrative? It is precisely by eliciting the ways in which ideas from multiple texts are related. Whether they contradict each other, whether they support each other, or whether they present a different dimension of the same aspect. It is precisely by thes that we weave that narrative. Finding connections and articulating them through transition phrases is at the core of academic writing in many ways. All these skills together produce an effectively written review. Now that we have understood what exactly a review is, the following videos will familiarize us with each of the skills required to build a coherent review of literature. Thank you.