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Literature Review: Conducting & Writing

This guide will provide research and writing tips to help students complete a literature review assignment.

  • Home

    • What is a Literature Review?
    • What is a Literature Review?: A Tutorial
    • Literature Reviews: An Overview for Graduate Students
  • Steps for Conducting a Lit Review

  • Finding “The Literature”

  • Organizing/Writing

  • APA Style

    • In-text Citations

  • Chicago (Author-Date)

  • MLA Style

    • In-text citations

  • Turabian

  • Sample Literature Reviews

  • Get Help!

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What is a Literature Review?

A Literature Review Is Not:

  • just a summary of sources
  • a grouping of broad, unrelated sources
  • a compilation of everything that has been written on a particular topic
  • literature criticism (think English) or a book review

So, what is it then?

A literature review is an integrated analysis– not just a summary– of scholarly writings that are related directly to your research question.  That is, it represents the literature that provides background information on your topic and shows a correspondence between those writings and your research question.

A literature review may be a stand alone work or the introduction to a larger research paper, depending on the assignment.  Rely heavily on the guidelines your instructor has given you.

Why is it important?

A literature review is important because it:

  • Explains the background of research on a topic.
  • Demonstrates why a topic is significant to a subject area.
  • Discovers relationships between research studies/ideas.
  • Identifies major themes, concepts, and researchers on a topic.
  • Identifies critical gaps and points of disagreement.
  • Discusses further research questions that logically come out of the previous studies.

What is a Literature Review?: A Tutorial

Literature Reviews: An Overview for Graduate Students

Literature Reviews: An Overview for Graduate Students (by North Caroline State University Libraries)

  • Next: Steps for Conducting a Lit Review >>

  • Last Updated: Aug 14, 2018 2:46 PM
  • URL: https://libguides.uwf.edu/litreview
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