Literature Review -10 Primary sources of literature review


Literature Review -Primary sources of literature review


A literature review is an important part of the research work. In fact, it is the life of the research project. No research can be accepted without a Literature review. Other parts of research like abstract, introduction, the background to the study, statement of the problem, aims and objectives of the study, theoretical framework, methodology, significance and organization of the study are necessary.

The literature review is the most important part. Sources of Literature review comes in three types: Primary sources, secondary sources and tertiary sources.

Literature Review

Literature Review is a detailed account of relevant materials being investigated in order to know what researchers had done and what has not been done. It shows how the present study will be different from previous studies. It is very important in any research because it gives direction to the research.

It prevents the researcher from diverting into another topic. Literature Review serves as a microscope that magnifies the difficulties of other research. Literature Review can be gotten in two ways: primary source and secondary source.

Different Stages of Literature Review

The stages are

conceptual framework,

theoretical framework and

empirical review.

Theoretical Framework refers to the combinations of theories or approaches that will be used in analysing the gathered data. It cuts across all the necessary details about the theory (definition, formulators, strength and weakness).

It gives the researcher an opportunity to explain how the research problem will be relevant to the theory chosen. The theoretical framework helps the researcher to focus on areas that are relevant to the research. It allows the research to challenge or accept the content of the theory chosen.

In addition, it lays a foundation for the researcher to give new meanings and interpretations to previous research. Examples of theoretical framework in nursing are wellness- illness model, health belief model, self-actualisation model among others. Theoretical framework in English and Literature are Feminism, Stylistics, Marxism, Psychoanalysis, etc.

The empirical review is a review that is gotten from experiences gathered directly or indirectly through the experimentation. Empirical review gathers knowledge from existing experiences. The results are usually recorded at the end of the experiment.

Experiences can be from what we see, the things we hear and what we say to people.
The conceptual framework looks at the concepts and ideas that underlie the study problem. It looks at the researcher ideas and concepts. It examines the researcher contributions and its relevance to the research. Here, the researcher has the freedom of expressing his or her own opinion.

There is room for the researcher’s criticism and comparison.

Primary Sources of Literature

Primary source of Literature Review can be seen as the raw information, first-hand information or first-hand evidence and direct access to the topic of research. It covers the materials needed for the main objects of research. It provides an elementary knowledge on the subject area being researched on.

They are authored by researchers. It has research data. Primary sources of the literature review can be sourced from:
a. Newspapers
b. Interviews
c. Magazines
d. Music
e. Court proceedings and records
f. Novels
g. Stories
h. Photographs
i. Memoirs
j. Letters

Differences between the primary source of literature review and secondary source of literature review:

  1. Primary source of literature review presents fresh and first-hand information while the secondary source of literature review gives second-hand information.
  2. In primary source, information is gotten from the respondent but in a secondary source, information is gotten from other researchers.
  3. Information from primary source cannot be influenced whereas information in the secondary source is subject to description, evaluation, criticism and analysis.
  4. Primary source of literature review stands on its own but the secondary source of literature review depends on the primary source for information.
  5. Primary source makes new discoveries while secondary source does not.
  6. Examples of the primary source of the literature review are letters, novels, interviews, speeches, photographs while examples of secondary source of the literature review are academic journals, research summarises.


Literature review gives value to every research. It is clear evidence that the researcher has done so much work. Having known the importance of the literature review in research work, it is pertinent that great attention is paid to all the issues raised to have a good literature review.


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