Need advanced research and writing help? Check out the Capstone & Thesis research guide, which is intended for graduate students and those beginning an in-depth research paper or project, or a formal thesis or dissertation.
A literature review is a thorough overview and critical analysis of research in a subject area. Sources should be of a scholarly nature. The literature review should be more than just a summary of the resources and include, for example, interpretations, comparisons, evaluation, and/or clarification. It will conclude with a bibliography of sources used.
A literature review should not be confused with an annotated bibliography which is a list of resources with a brief description of each.
1. Select a topic you can manage in the timeframe you have to complete your project. Narrow down the topic if it is too broad and establish your research questions.
2. Plan and conduct your literature search. Use a variety of sources, focusing on those that cover actual research as opposed to opinion.
3. Organize and present your results. Arrange your review by ideas and summarize for the reader. Cite the resources you refer to in your project thoroughly and accurately.
See the tabs above to learn more about how you can do each of these steps.