Literature review

What is the goal of the literature search?

The literature research is the beginning of a scientific work such as a diploma thesis. Through this kind of research, the topic should initially be developed, clarified and the scientific or objectively relevant literature on a specific topic be determined. Basically, a distinction is made between primary and secondary literature. This directly and originally constitutes a subject or problem area (for example: research report, scientific essay); this is characterized as literature referring to pre-existing primary literature (for example, a bibliography containing literature on specific topics and intended to provide an overview of existing literature). If necessary, help from a ghostwriter can be availed here.

Choice of subject

At the beginning of a diploma thesis there is often uncertainty about the choice of topic, the literature search leads to the selection of a specific topic, it can also open a completely new, unexpected diploma thesis topic. Browsing through books or the Internet stimulates the imagination and often leads to ideas that can be important building blocks for a topic and should be recorded in writing. Likewise, one’s own interests often become aware only when a wide range of possible topics has been revealed through the literature search – according to the motto: “How should I know what interests me, if I do not know what it all “Scientific coaching by a ghostwriter can only include the often difficult topic selection and clarification.

Topics clarification

At the beginning of a diploma thesis there is usually a lack of clarity about the already chosen topic. The literature search helps with a gradual clarification of the chosen topic. If a topic has already been selected, the literature review can provide insight into the methodological and theoretical perspectives under which the topic can be tackled.

Overview of literature

At the beginning of a diploma thesis there are usually different literary previous knowledge about a topic. The literature search provides an overview of the relevant literature. As a rule, it is only possible to clarify with the help of the literature search whether texts for a particular topic are of importance or not in the first order of relevance. The design of a corresponding heuristic (ancient Greek: “find”) is very helpful in the literature search. Questions are formulated on the basis of which the search and the finding of sources is simplified.

Selection of the literature

Which literature is essential for working on a topic? This question can not be answered unequivocally and sustainably insofar as cultural, historical and social factors determine the importance of sources of knowledge and are therefore decisive for their publication and dissemination. For example, within a scientific community of a particular discipline, consensus can be reached on which works it considers fundamental to its field of expertise. Furthermore, within a discipline there are diverse scientific schools and ways of thinking, so-called scientific paradigms, which are based on heterogeneous works as a starting point. Paradigms and their sources of supply change in the course of history and can be fundamentally different in alternative cultures.

The scientific communities have developed criteria that determine the relevance of scientific literature and have since been accepted by the academic common sense: the frequency of citations and references plays an equally immense role in this context as the scientific reputation of the publication media (impact factor), in which the text was first published. The impact factor of a journal measures how often other journals cite a scientific article from it in relation to the total number of articles published there. The higher the impact factor, the more renowned the journal is.