The Literature Review chapter in a thesis, which follows the Introduction, fundamentally situates the current study within the context of existing research on the topic, differentiates it from what has already been investigated about the topic and establishes its unique contribution to the field. This chapter allows the authors to demonstrate a thorough awareness of key issues that are relevant to the research topic and justify their inclusion as a member of the academic community in their discipline.
In Extract A, the research topic ‘Photonic Crystal Fiber (PCF)’ is identified (in bold). The next two sentences detail the multiple areas of focus that are discussed.
In Extract B, the writer presents a discussion of theoretical perspectives on one approach to text-summarisation, ‘Shallow-text based approaches’ as indicated by the two citations (Luhn, 1958 & Edmundson, 1969).
In Extract C, research on IEEE 802.11 DCF networks is reviewed and evaluated (negative evaluation in bold). The shortcomings of Bianchi’s original paper are first stated (‘a few properties of DCF were not considered’, ‘the model was later extended […] to include more practical assumptions’). The extract also includes a negative evaluation of one aspect of research on unsaturated traffic scenarios in IEEE 802.11 DCF networks (‘little consensus is reached’) and explained (‘due to differences in assumptions and models’).
The sentences in bold highlight the research gap (fairness in resource allocation in OFDMA relay networks is not considered and the specific issue of ‘flexible service-specific rate requirements of different users’ has not been addressed).
Extract E states the contribution of the study indirectly (‘more reliable, efficient and automatic methods’ of protein subcellular localization prediction’). The implication is that their study will present a more efficient method for predicting where a protein resides in a cell.
In these extracts, the author uses the neutral verbs ‘examine’, ‘show’ and ‘observe’ to report information as factual statements and not present opinions.
The writer later uses ‘recommended’ to reflect their position that they cannot make a strong claim about the accuracy of Bisby and Take’s approach. Had the writer been more certain that the choice was correct, a stronger reporting verb such as ‘concluded’ would have been used.
‘Concluded’ suggests that the writer does not dispute that the conclusion can be attributed to Yang et al. (2002).