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How to Do a Literature Review: Home

A brief guide on how to do a literature review.

Helpful Resources

Literature Review Handout (The Writing Center at UNC Chapel Hill)

How to Do a Literature Review (Kent State University Libraries)

How to Write a Literature Review (Concordia University Libraries)

Writing the Literature Review (ESC Online Writing Center, Suny Empire State College

What is a literature review?

Definition of a literature review:
A literature review is described as the process of reading, evaluating, and summarizing scholarly materials about a specific topic in which the results may be compiled in a report or used as part of a research article, thesis, or grant proposal.  (Conducting Research Literature Reviews: From the Internet to Paper, 3rd ed. by Arlene Fink)

Purpose of a literature review:

  • To identify what is already known about an area of study
    It may also:
    Identify questions not answered in the research
    Make a case why further study of research questions is important to a field

The five steps involved in doing a literature review:

  1. Identify and define the topic
  2. Find information
  3. Evaluate the  information content
  4. Synthesize the information's content
  5. Summarize your findings

The five components of a literature review:
      After completing the above 5 steps, it's time to write the review on your findings.
      Your literature review should include the following five components:

  1. Abstract
  2. Introduction
  3. Body
  4. Conclusion
  5. Bibliography

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