Landing : Athabascau University

Critical Review Vs Literature Review

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By Laura Roberts November 4, 2018 - 2:26pm
  1. How did writing a critical review prepare you for writing a literature review? What do you still need to learn/practice before you are ready to write a literature review?

  2. What can you learn about academic writing from reading articles like the samples provided?


I honestly think the biggest thing that comes to mind in terms of how beginning with a critical review was ultimately helpful in introducing how to write a literature review is mostly because - in the midst of writing a literature review, you find yourself doing miniature critical reviews of each of the material you present. It helps you, or it helped me, in learning what parts to focus on when deciphering one piece of literature. How to summarize what's important, how to take a pragmatic position and unpacked that for readers, and on what basis to form conclusions. Literature reviews also involve a lot of the same criteria, but also require a much more in depth collection of material. I mentioned this to another student in our classroom forum, but I’ve written one before so I do have a little bit of a better idea of what needs to go into them. I think for me personally, I want to review the comments on my old work. I’d like to use them as a bit of a sounding board of what not to do again. I’m also highly anticipating recieving feedback on my critical review I just handed in, I think that will also be very helpful.

Again, for me personally, having an opportunity to read samples of other literature reviews gives me a template for what I’m working with. I mentioned this in another blog post, but where my anxiety lies the most in writing is not knowing what is expected of me. I hate that. I get a lot of anxiety handing in my first assignments in each course, or trying something new I’m not familiar with. Having writing samples alleviates a lot of that for me, and gives me the inspiration to get started. The academic articles on literature reviews are equally as helpful for the same reason. They might not be a paragraph by paragraph template, but it allows for readers to get an introductory lesson of what they should be expected to do.


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