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
For more information on conducting and writing a literature review, consult the Conducting a Literature Review subject guide.
Adapted from: http://writing.wisc.edu/Handbook/ReviewofLiterature.html