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How to Write a Literature Review

A literature review is a critical evaluation and review of publications and research for a certain topic. Scholarly sources are covered in this review for a particular time and they include websites, government reports, journal articles, books, and others.

The review of these sources ensures description, summarization and evaluation of a specific topic. Work by previous researchers is well acknowledged in the literature review. A literature review has a standard format that includes an introduction, body, and conclusion.

For a reader, the literature review provides him or her with a clear understanding of the developments in the field and what knowledge and ideas have been established on a topic.

The various types of literature review include integrative review, methodological review, argumentative review, systematic review, theoretical review, and historical review.

Research papers given to students have a literature review as a requirement for the research topics. You do not have to struggle with your project assignment, elite academic brokers can help you with your literature review.

Elite Academic Brokers is among the top academic Experts and we have the best team of professionals to help you with the research topic. If you are in the field of social sciences, sciences, or humanities extensive research in the topics and literature review comes in handy.

Types of Literature Review

1. Narrative or Traditional Literature Review

  • Description: Summarizes and synthesizes existing literature without a specific methodology.
  • Focus: Broader themes and concepts rather than specific research questions.
  • Purpose: Provides an overview, historical context, and theoretical framework of a topic.

2. Systematic Literature Review

  • Description: Follows a structured methodology with predefined criteria for selecting, evaluating, and synthesizing literature.
  • Focus: Reduces bias by setting strict inclusion and exclusion criteria.
  • Purpose: Aims for comprehensive coverage and critical evaluation of available literature on a focused question.

3. Meta-Analysis Review

  • Description: Utilizes statistical methods to analyze data from multiple studies.
  • Focus: Quantitatively pools data from various sources to identify patterns, effects, or correlations.
  • Purpose: Aims to draw conclusive insights by synthesizing results from multiple studies.

4. Scoping Review

  • Description: Provides a broad overview of literature in a particular field.
  • Focus: Maps key concepts, sources, and knowledge gaps without deep critical analysis.
  • Purpose: Defines research questions and identifies the extent of available literature on a subject.

5. Integrative Literature Review

  • Description: Synthesizes findings from diverse sources and methodologies.
  • Focus: Integrates data from different study designs to provide a comprehensive understanding.
  • Purpose: Identifies patterns, contradictions, and emerging trends across a broad range of literature.

6. Comparative Literature Review

  • Description: Contrasts and compares different theories, methodologies, or approaches within the literature.
  • Focus: Evaluates strengths, weaknesses, and contradictions among different perspectives.
  • Purpose: Offers insights into conflicting viewpoints and helps in theory evaluation.


Importance of Literature review

There are various reasons why literature review is important in a project assignment and this include the following:

  • Familiarizing oneself with the scholarly context and the topic in question
  • Helps in developing a theoretical framework and methodology to do your research
  • A person can identify oneself with other authors from the sources
  • Help to address a gap in the various research

literature review

All of the above points when considered help achieves a good literature review and provide a clear understanding. Components in this literature review include objectives, subject overview, sources categorization, discussion of the similarities and differences in each source, and conclusion in which source gives the best argument and understanding of the research area.

Steps of how to write a literature review include the following:

Problem formulation and goal definition

You should know what your project assignment entails by defining the purpose of the paper is done. This is done through the creation of a thesis statement for an argument paper, a central question for a literature review assignment, and a hypothesis for a scientific paper. Defining the purpose of the paper helps in knowing the specific kind of literature review to use.

Limit the scope of your research problem

This is by narrowing on the topic to the specific area of study. It helps in establishing a good review of the most important and relevant sources for the research by limiting the number of sources to be read.

Search for literature

This is done by setting certain criteria to search for the sources which can be given by specific methodology, geographic region, and date range. Once you identify and define the given criteria, create a list of keywords that are concerning your research question.

Use these keywords to search for sources. This can be done by the use of databases like a library database, EBSCO, google scholar, and others. Articles and journals to use can be found using these databases.

These articles and journals can help get additional sources by using the references provided there. Some of the citations keep recurring and can help narrow down to the most relevant ones where some have different opinions regarding the question. It is upon you to identify the relevant sources for your research based on the procedure given.

How to Write a Literature Review

Step 1: Define the Scope and Objectives

  • Identify your topic: Clearly define the subject area and the specific research question or problem you want to explore.
  • Establish the purpose: Determine the goal of your literature review—whether it’s to provide an overview, analyze existing research, or identify gaps in knowledge.

Step 2: Conduct Thorough Research

  • Gather relevant sources: Use academic databases, journals, books, and reputable online sources to collect scholarly articles and literature related to your topic.
  • Evaluate sources: Assess the credibility, reliability, and relevance of each source. Consider the publication date, methodology, and authority of the authors.

Step 3: Organize the Review

  • Create an outline: Structure your literature review based on themes, chronological order, methodology, or theoretical frameworks.
  • Group similar ideas: Organize the literature into categories or sections based on common themes, arguments, or findings.

Step 4: Analyze and Synthesize Information

  • Summarize the literature: Provide a brief overview of each source, highlighting key points, methodologies, and conclusions.
  • Identify patterns and connections: Analyze similarities, differences, and trends across different sources. Synthesize the information to develop a coherent narrative.

Step 5: Write the Literature Review

  • Introduction: Introduce the topic, state the purpose of the review, and outline the structure or organization of your review.
  • Body: Present the literature based on your chosen structure. Discuss key findings, debates, and methodologies. Compare and contrast different viewpoints and studies.
  • Conclusion: Summarize the main points, highlight the significance of the literature, and address any gaps or areas for future research.

Step 6: Revise and Edit

  • Check coherence and flow: Ensure a logical progression of ideas throughout the review.
  • Verify citations: Properly cite all sources using a consistent citation style (e.g., APA, MLA, Chicago).
  • Proofread: Edit for grammar, punctuation, and clarity.

Step 7: Finalize the Review

  • Ensure completeness: Revisit your objectives to confirm you’ve covered all relevant aspects.
  • Seek feedback: Share your review with peers or mentors for feedback and suggestions for improvement.




Select the relevant sources and evaluate them

Once you have searched and found all the sources based on keywords, you have to establish if your source fits the research question appropriately.

This is done by checking the methodologies and procedures used by various researchers, assumptions made by most researchers, the number of times a citation has been repeated in the databases, the period of the literature depending on the topic of study.

All these will help you determine and select the most relevant source to use for your research question or hypothesis by keeping track of these sources with citations.

Establish patterns, themes, and gaps that exist in the sources

This will help in organizing the selected papers based on the relationship between the given sources. To do this, you have to identify the pattern seen by looking at the popularity of the literature over a given time.

The concept that has been mostly repeated in the literature given by themes, contradictions in the literature, and the gaps that exist in the literature showing weaknesses to be addressed. All this help will help organize your work to develop the right structure to use for the literature review.

Write a review of your work

In this part, you have to state the purpose or thesis statement to enable the reader to understand your topic and the argument you will be presenting in the paper by giving a summary of the developments seen in the research.

Read more on How to write article review

Organize your literature review using various strategies

These strategies will help organize and structure the body of your literature review. The different ways to organize your literature review include a chronology of events based on the vital period, thematically based on the different aspects or issues of the topic, publication based on publication chronology, theoretically based on relevant theories models and key concepts which is the foundation of a theoretical framework and methodologically based on the variety of methods used.

Write your literature review

After structuring and all the above, it’s time you write your literature review. You have to make sure you follow a certain format when writing it. This means that your literature review should have an introduction, body, and conclusion.

The introduction establishes the purpose of the study, giving a proper outline of the topic in question. For the body part, you show the connections of various sources analyzing them critically dealing with the themes that are relevant to the topic.

The conclusion provides a summary of the literature showing agreements and disagreements in the work and giving your perspective.

Review all your work from the beginning to the end

Proofread your work to eliminate your mistakes and include things you might have missed in your work.

At Elite academic brokers we provide just but the best quality services to our clients.We have other informative articles that you can read and get more skills in writing research papers and essay.


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