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Conducting a Literature Review

Literature Review

Definition of a literature review: "A literature review is both a summary and explanation of the complete and current state of knowledge on a limited topic as found in academic books and journal articles. It is NOT an annotated bibliography" or a just a description of what you read. (Mongan-Rallis, 2014)

Purpose of a literature review: "The primary purpose is to provide the reader with a comprehensive background for understanding current knowledge and highlighting the significance of new research." (Cronin, Ryan, & Coughlan, 2008)

Steps for Writing a Literature Review

  • Decide on a topic
  • Identify and review the literature
    • An "arsenal" of good keywords is imperative for your literature search
  • Analyze the literature
  • Summarize the literature
  • Synthesize the literature prior to writing the review
  • Write the review
    • Introduction, body, conclusion

Writing a Literature Review - Resources