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COGS 191 Spring 2024


Traditional or narrative literature reviews are typically broad in scope. They cover as much as possible of the existing literature or research on a given topic or subject. Often, this sort of literature review is included in theses and dissertations written for degree credit at universities. They're written as an essential part of the theoretical framework for the thesis or dissertation writer's argument: here's what's known, here's what's not known, here's what my work needs to answer and will answer. Because they describe what's known and not, their focus tends to be descriptive rather than analytical.

Examples of traditional literature reviews

Because a traditional or narrative literature review is so often a part of a thesis or dissertation, it's good to look at dissertations to find examples of literature reviews. The following links will take you to dissertations with literature reviews; check the tables of contents to find the literature reviews within the dissertations. They're usually the second chapter of the dissertation.

Coleman, B. N. (2015). The association between electronic cigarette use and cigarette smoking behavior among young adults in the United States (Publication no. 3712206). University of Maryland, College Park. ProQuest Dissertations Publishing.