7 junio, 2024

State of the art: structure, how it is done, example

He state of the art of an investigation, TFG, TGM, project or thesis, refers to the state of the investigations or works that already exist on the subject on which you want to investigate. That is, it refers to the existing sources of information that address topics similar to the one proposed in the thesis or research paper.

Since any research project must provide new information or results on a particular topic, it is necessary to build a state of the art.

In the state of the art, reference should be made to similar works, which have had different results, or which were carried out under different conditions. The objective is to validate the research, showing that it will generate knowledge and that it is not a copy of other research.

To make the section on the state of the art, it is vitally important to have previously determined the research question. This will allow the researcher to focus on the current situation and the categories of the topic on which he intends to investigate.

Additionally, it is necessary to make a state of the art in order to put the reader in context about the background that exists on the subject to be studied by the research that is going to be carried out.


Structure of the state of the art

The structure that the state of the art section should have is as follows:


The objective of the introduction is to put the reader in context about the background that exists on the subject to be dealt with in the investigation and to delimit its field of action.

In addition, a brief description of the order of the studies to which reference will be made is made.

Research, projects or sources consulted

In this section, the names of the referenced investigations and a brief description of the results obtained by them are placed.

The order in which the information is included can be chronological, geographical or by keywords.


Finally, in the conclusions section, the discoveries obtained by studying the different investigations are presented.

How to make a state of the art?

For the preparation of a state of the art, the first thing to do is look for pre-existing works on the research that you want to carry out, and study them exhaustively. This will make it possible to cite the different investigations, and establish the reasons why the study will be carried out.

Once this is done, we proceed to write the introduction, detailing the background found in the area to be studied and the limits of the research.


The following is a sample introduction for a research paper titled, The effects of drip irrigation in coffee plantations with water scarcity:

In this section an exhaustive review of research that talks about the effects of drip irrigation in various types of plantations is made.

In order to highlight the lack of information regarding the use of drip irrigation in coffee plantations, we will first review which artificial irrigation methods have been implemented so far in coffee plantations.

Subsequently, existing studies on the amount of water that should be used to moisten the soil in areas with water scarcity will be discussed.

Research consulted

Then, the consulted research papers are cited in order, exposing the objective of each one, along with the conclusions they draw.

An example of this section would be as follows:

Water consumption in coffee plantations

According to a study carried out by González (2018), the amount of water per hectare that a coffee plantation needs for its correct development is 10,000 liters per year.

Artificial irrigation methods

According to the research carried out by Nieto (2019), the most widely used artificial irrigation method in coffee plantations is to extract water through pipes from nearby basins or rivers to take it to the plantations.

In this way, due to the lack of control in the amount of water used, an excessive consumption of the resource is produced, which can reach 60% waste per hectare.


Finally, based on the discoveries obtained by the different studies, the conclusions that could be reached are explained. An example of this section would be:

After making an extensive review on the topic of interest for this research, it is possible to conclude that there is no clear information on the effects of drip irrigation in coffee plantations, since it is usually used in other types of plantations.

Additionally, the exact amount of water that should be used to irrigate coffee crops in conditions of water scarcity is not known.

Example of a state of the art

Next, an example of the state of the art is presented for an investigation about tourism in the city of Cartagena, Colombia. To make its structure easier to understand, the introduction, the research consulted and the conclusions will be marked (this is not necessary to mark it in the state of the art of a work).


This section details the previous investigations that have been carried out on tourism in Cartagena, Colombia.

Research consulted

The problem derived from tourism activity as a transformer of urban space has been studied by researchers such as James Sperk in his book Economies of tourism (2012), in which a theoretical observation is made on the social interactions that occur in cities. related to tourism.

On the other hand, Lodato (2008) refers, superficially, in his text New spaces for leisureto tourism as a new way of generating spaces, from the injection of foreign money in local scenarios.

In both cases, tourism as an activity that transforms space has only been approached theoretically. To date, there is no research that addresses the issue from the exercise of field work, of an ethnographic nature.

For the specific case of the city of Cartagena, Colombia, existing research only talks about the transformation of the city in relation to the planning of its urban landscape (Urban Planning of Cartagena, 2015). However, there are no documents that speak of its transformation as a product of tourism.


Taking into account the collected material, it can be seen that the investigations carried out on the problems presented by the injection of foreign capital in the dynamics of tourist cities are approached theoretically and without focusing on a particular city.


Herrera, P. (2016). Preparing and writing a “State of the Art” review. Retrieved from researchgate.net
Jiménez Becerra, A. (2004). The state of the art in research in the social sciences. Retrieved from biblioteca.clacso.edu.ar
Ordonez Gonzalez, J. (2020). FORMAT FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF STATES OF THE ART. Retrieved from academia.edu
Ramirez Gomez, M. (2020). State of the art. Retrieved from leo.uniandes.edu.co
Sanchez, J. (2015). State of the art text structure. Retrieved from academia.edu

Deja una respuesta

Tu dirección de correo electrónico no será publicada. Los campos obligatorios están marcados con *