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 a literature review? What do I begin with?
How to Do a Literature Review: 13 Steps (with Pictures) - wikiHow
As an employee in a corporate office, you may also be called on to do some research. The literature review is one of the first steps to writing an academic paper, and also one of the most important. A literature review is a compilation of scholarly sources that discuss the topic you are researching. Because it serves as an overview of existing research, a literature review lets you highlight relevant principles and methods, while also identifying gaps in whatever research currently exists.
As you read, you'll encounter various ideas, disagreements, methods, and perspectives which can be hard to organize in a meaningful way. A synthesis matrix helps you record the main points of each source and document how sources relate to each other. VCU's Writing Center consultants can help you plan, develop, and organize your literature review and a follow-up appointment will help you edit, proofread, and revise it. Many patrons who find this guide have experience with research.
The library offers a range of helpful services. All of our appointments are free of charge and confidential. The specific purpose and length of the literature review will vary.