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Literature Review Basics
- The term "literature" refers to any collection of materials on a topic, not necessarily literary works like To Kill a Mockingbird or The Scarlet Letter.
- A literature review is a summary and synthesis of original research articles/publications.
- Sources used in a literature review should be original research, not other literature reviews.
- A literature review should include the most "important" articles published on the topic.
- A literature review should provide readers with a comprehensive foundation on the topic.
- A literature review may provide a new interpretation of synthesized information.
- The focus of a literature review should be fairly narrow.
Resources for Writing a Literature Review
Organizing a Literature Review
Literature review must contain at least three basic elements:
- Introduction: Gives a brief idea of the subject of the literature review.
- Body: Includes a discussion of sources. Can be organized in different ways
- chronological - look at the issue over time or order of publications
- thematic - organize around topic or subtopics related to the subject
- methodological - organize based on the methods used by researchers or writers
- Conclusions/Recommendations: Sum up what you have drawn from the literature and discuss implications or need for forther research.
Literature Review Examples
- What do you notice about this literature review?
- How is the review structured?
- What is a benefit of reading literature reviews about a topic?