What is a Literature Review?
A literature review is a body of text that aims to review the critical points of current knowledge on a particular topic. Most often associated with science-oriented literature, such as a thesis, the literature review usually proceeds a research proposal, methodology and results section. Its ultimate goals is to bring the reader up to date with current literature on a topic and forms that basis for another goal, such as the justification for future research in the area. (retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Literature_review)
Writing a Literature Review
The literature review is the section of your paper in which you cite and briefly review the related research studies that have been conducted. In this space, you will describe the foundation on which your research will be/is built. You will:
- discuss the work of others
- evaluate their methods and findings
- identify any gaps in their research
- state how your research is different
The literature review should be selective and should group the cited studies in some logical fashion.
If you need some additional assistance writing your literature review, the Knight Institute for Writing in the Disciplines offers a Graduate Writing Service.
Demystifying the Literature Review
For more information, visit our guide devoted to "Demystifying the Literature Review" which includes:
- guide to conducting a literature review,
- a recorded 1.5 hour workshop covering the steps of a literature review, a checklist for drafting your topic and search terms, citation management software for organizing your results, and database searching.