This module is intended as an introductory guide to writing stand-alone literature reviews.
A graduate literature review module is also available in the graduate research and writing section of the Research and Learning Online site.
A literature review is a comprehensive overview of all the knowledge available on a specific topic till date.
When you decide on a research topic, usually the first step you take in the direction of conducting research is learn more about the previous research published on the topic, and this eventually translates into literature review when you write your research paper.
Every research report/ thesis/research article begins with an introduction to the topic of research. The main purpose of the review is to introduce the readers to the need for conducting the said research.
A literature review should begin with a thorough literature search using the main keywords in relevant online databases such as Google Scholar, Pub Med, etc.
The more extensive the review, the more precise and systematic the research project will be.
Therefore, it is one of the most critical parts of one’s research.
Within the review, you need to identify patterns, consensus, inconsistencies, discrepancies, problems or gaps based on the body of literature.
Ultimately, the literature review will contribute something new to the topic, so it will not be a discussion that has been repeated or previously established in the past.