Reply by answer to the following questions:
Ask a probing question and provide the foundation, or rationale, for the question.
Expand on your colleague’s posting by offering a new perspective or insight.
Agree or disagree with a colleague and offer additional (new) supporting information and perspectives for consideration.
A gap in the literature refers to the space between what we know about a subject through research, and the knowledge we do not currently possess through research (Martinez, n.d.) . We may have a lot of knowledge about the specific topic, but the gap may include a specific variable or a different aspect that has not currently been studied. Limitations or contradictions in research may also give way to a research gap in the study (Laureate Education, 2016). For example, a couple of decades ago, eating disorders became widely researched, as their awareness of the mental health and physical health communities became well-known. However, due to the low percentage of males seeking help and being admitted into hospitals, a research gap of males with eating disorders existed.
The gap in the literature provides a justification and need for the study. A dissertation should simultaneously contribute to scholarly literature that currently exists, while also providing insight into a research gap within that specific field. By providing research into this gap, the field becomes more evolved, which sparks new conversations as the gap contributes to other research, and this provides a way for more research to be conducted to strengthen the research performed, or to build upon this research gap (McIndoo, 2014).
Laureate Education (Producer). (2016). Identifying gaps in the literature [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.
Martinez, S. (n.d.). How to write an effective literature review. Retrieved June 5, 2016, from http://www.dphu.org/uploads/attachements/books/books_71_0.pdf
McIndoo, T. (2014, July 8). Defining a gap in the literature: On proving the presence of an
absence [Blog post].
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