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Literature Reviews

What is a Literature Review?

What is a Literature Review?

"A literature review is a systematic review of the published literature on a specific topic or research question.  The literature review is designed to analyze-- not just summarize-- scholarly writings that are related directly to your research question.  That is, it represents the literature that provides background information on your topic and shows a correspondence between those writings and your research question."

"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."

"A literature review is a written document that presents a logically argued case founded on a comprehensive understanding of the current state of knowledge about a topic of study. This case establishes a convincing thesis to answer the study's question." 

(Machi, L.A. & McEvoy, B.T. 2009,The literature review: six steps to success , p. 4)


It is not a annotated bibliography, a descriptive list, a summative report or a Research paper !

Annotated Bibliographies