- 1. Learning Objectives
- 2. What is a literature review?
- 3. Types of reviews
- 4. What is the purpose of a literature review?
- 5. Planning the Literature Review
- 6. How to find literature
- 7. Organising the Literature
- 8. How to write a literature review
- 9. Citation practices
- 10. Examples of literature reviews
- 11. Summary
- 12. Feedback Survey
2. What is a literature review?
A literature review is a text (or portion of a text) that provides an overview of the literature associated with a specific topic or research question.
A literature review can form part of:
- background research;
- the process of exploring or refining a research question;
- and/or a research methodology.
Literature reviews can take different approaches, for example:
- an overview of classic theoretical texts in a relevant field,
- an assessment of the existing literature and research,
- an analysis of research methodologies and case studies,
- a timeline of the evolution of an idea or concept, or
- a survey of contemporary research into the subject.
Literature reviews in the social sciences and humanities can also take different forms, including:
- a dissertation chapter
- a meta-analysis of research on a topic,
- or a section of a research paper.
Further resources on social sciences literature reviews:
- The Literature Review: A Few Tips On Conducting It – University of Toronto [http://advice.writing.utoronto.ca/types-of-writing/literature-review/ ]
- Literature Reviews – Purdue Online Writing Lab [https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/994/04/ ]
- Reviewing the Literature – Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine PDF [https://www.imperial.ac.uk/media/imperial-college/study/graduate-school/public/helpsheets/Reviewing-the-Literature-Doctoral-2015.pdf ]
- Why are you conducting a literature review?
- What do you hope to gain from the process?