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Writing a Literature Review

Includes definitions, approaches to literature reviews, finding sources, organizing the literature review, and practical tips.

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​​​​​​

Identifying your research question

The literature review is typically just one part of a larger writing project or research study. Before beginning the review of literature, ensure you have identified each of the following aspects of your original research question or problem:

  • Identify what the study is about
  • Identify where the study takes place
  • Identify why the study takes place
  • Identify who is involved
  • Identify why the study is valuable
  • Identify how you are going to approach the study