A thorough and comprehensive examination of the research and/or theory relevant to a topic. A literature review analyzes and integrates scholarly research and theory in an organized, prose fashion.
As a means of disseminating information to scholars in a particular discipline the literature review has four purposes:
This worksheet can be used to organize your research articles or book chapters
A literature review has three main parts:
Define the problem or state the thesis.
Identify trends in what has been published on the topic. Identify conflicts, methodology, evidence, gaps in research and new perspectives on the topic.
Describe the articles or documents in detail.
Group articles together according to types (such as case studies, reviews, empirical studies), the authors' conclusions, or the articles' purposes.
Compare and evaluate the articles or documents.
Summarize the major contributions of the articles or documents to the topic.
Evaluate the current state of the research for the topic. Explain inconsistencies, gaps in research, and point out issues that need to be studied further.
Provide insight into the relationship between the topic under review and the larger discipline of which it is a part. Provide implications of the studies or documents discussed for the profession or discipline at large.