Published on February 22, by Shona McCombes. Revised on March 9, A literature review is a survey of scholarly sources on a specific topic. It provides an overview of current knowledge, allowing you to identify relevant theories, methods , and gaps in the existing research. Writing a literature review involves finding relevant publications such as books and journal articles , critically analyzing them, and explaining what you found.
How to Write Critical Reviews – The Writing Center – UW–Madison
Usually, a literature review can be described as an objective, concise, and critical summary of published research literature pertinent to the subject being researched in an article. A literature can be an end in itself an analysis of what is known about a topic or a prologue to and rationale for engaging in primary research. Organize the literature review around key topics of concepts. Use headings or topic sentences to convey your organizational principle. Use a summary to assist the reader to relate every section to the wider topic and to clarify your argument's movement.
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A literature review should be structured like any other essay: it should have an introduction, a middle or main body, and a conclusion. Introduction The introduction should: define your topic and provide an appropriate context for reviewing the literature; establish your reasons — i. For example, if you were reviewing the literature on obesity in children you might say something like: There are a large number of studies of obesity trends in the general population. However, since the focus of this research is on obesity in children, these will not be reviewed in detail and will only be referred to as appropriate. Main body The middle or main body should: organise the literature according to common themes; provide insight into the relation between your chosen topic and the wider subject area e.