Challenges and Surprises in Writing a Partial Literature Review. Paper Example

Published: 2022-12-30
Challenges and Surprises in Writing a Partial Literature Review. Paper Example
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Learning Writing Personal experience Literature review
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 707 words
6 min read

Students encounter challenges and surprises when writing partial literature reviews. The three common challenges and surprises faced include writing style issues, structuring of the discussion, and credibility or validity issues (Lee, 2017). First, the problem and surprise of writing styles occur when the writer is unable to follow the correct writing format. In most cases, writers mix various writing styles like using the principles of APA, MLA, or Havard inappropriately. Other challenge associated with the writing style concerns the failure of paraphrasing what other researchers have found out about the research or not accrediting their work leading to plagiarism (Lee, 2017). Another challenge in writing a partial literature review linked with poor writing styles regards the inclusion of personal opinions instead of writing about existing information about the topic under study.

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The second challenge and surprise encountered when writing a partial literature review is the inability to follow the correct structure. In most cases, writers finding it challenging or forget to include the introduction which gives the background of the review as well as the definition of key terms or concepts (Lee, 2017). The challenge of failing to follow the right paper structure also concerns using incorrect paper organization when including headings and sub-headings. Students writing a literature review find it challenging to use a consistent organization of headings and subheadings in the paper in the use of font sizes and indentation.

Additionally, an inability to ensure the credibility or validity of the information is another challenge when writing a partial literature review. Lack of credibility or validity in literature review occurs when writing a literature review that is not narrowly-focused (Lee, 2017). A narrowed literature review leads to having general information that might not provide focused information about the chosen topic under investigation. The challenge of not having credibility or validity in writing a literature review also occurs through the inability of choosing suitable scholarly sources (Lee, 2017). Failure to use appropriate scholarly sources leads to having a shallow insight into the research topic.

Advice to a Colleague Writing a Literature Review for the First Time

Writing a literature review for the first time requires advice on how to write correctly. To a colleague writing a literature review for the first time, I will advise on basic principles. First I will advise a friend on the use of correct writing style. I will instruct on how to insert in-text citations for various writing formats like APA, MLA, as well as Harvard (Denney & Tewksbury, 2015). I will also teach my colleague how to write a plagiarism free review through paraphrasing and accrediting the authors. Advice on writing style will also include the writing of the existing knowledge without the inclusion of personal opinions.

The other advice to the colleague writing the literature review for the first time concerns how to structure the paper. I will stress on the inclusion of the introduction in the literature review to provide the background of the topic under investigation. I will also advise my friend regarding the paper structure on how to consistently inset headings and sub-headings into the paper using the correct font size and indentation (Denney & Tewksbury, 2015). Advice on the literature review structure will help my friend to include all the sections of the review as well as knowing how to insert headings and sub-headings consistently and correctly.

Also, I will advise my colleague on how to write a credible and valid literature review. I will focus on how to narrow-down to writing about a specific area of research to avoid generalization of information (Denney & Tewksbury, 2015). In advising on credibility and validity when writing a literature review, I will include the process of finding and choosing suitable and scholarly sources. I will teach my colleagues about different websites where appropriate sources are found (Denney & Tewksbury, 2015). The advice on writing a credible and valid literature review will as well include the use of current references to assist in having the present view about the research topic.


Denney, A., & Tewksbury, R. (2015). How to Write a Literature Review. Journal Of Effective Writing, 24(2), 218-234. doi: 10.1080/10511253.2012.730617

Lee, I. (2017). Feedback in Literature writing: Issues and challenges. Assessing Writing, 19, 1-5. doi: 10.1016/j.asw.2013.11.009

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