Identifying a well-defined research topic is the first step for writing a literature review. The topic should cover something from the research field that needs to be explored. This will ensure that your contribution will be valuable, that you are providing readers with a different angle or perspective on an issue or problem.
Ideally, your topic should tackle or explore a problem that is just the right size. A topic like “mothers and postpartum depression” is too broad; there will be too much information out there to write a concise literature review. However, a topic such as “maternal postpartum self-criticism and anger” looks at a problem faced by women who are experiencing the so-called baby blues. This gives you a niche within the research field to focus on and explore.
Often a broad topic can be narrowed by adding one or more criteria, which can include:
|Smoking cessation||Mindfulness therapeutic intervention in aiding smoking cessation|
|Social media in college and university||The use of social media in university classrooms for educational purposes|
|The culture of raising, slaughtering and consuming animals||The politics of sight and power dynamics in animal rights organizations' undercover investigations of factory farming and animal slaughter|
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