Once a topic has been chosen the researcher should embark on a thorough review of the literature available on that topic. This process can often take many months or even up to a year for postgraduate research projects or funded ones. Sometimes researchers do not have the luxury of time. However, even with time restrictions all researchers agree that it is essential to survey what has already been published on a particular subject. There are reasons for doing this: • To avoid repeating work already done. Imagine spending valuable time and effort

only to realise that someone else did a similar study ten years before you. Of course some researchers conduct follow-up studies that revisit the participants of an earlier study after a suitable time lapse, but such studies are not repetitive and seek to expand knowledge of the topic previously studied.