A literature review is an objective, concise, critical summary of published research literature relevant to a topic being researched in an article.
It does NOT reference and list all of the material you have cited in your paper.
Rather, you can take the pieces that other researchers have “cut” and put them together to build a framework on which to hang your own “books”—that is, your own study methods, results, and conclusions.
The contents of a literature review are determined by many factors, including its precise purpose in the document, the degree of consensus with a given theory or tension between competing theories, the length of the article, the amount of previous studies existing in the given field, etc.
It is an assessment of the literature and provides a summary, classification, comparison and evaluation.
At postgraduate level literature reviews can be incorporated into an article, a research report or thesis.You show your understanding by analysing and then synthesising the information to: Work out what you need to address in the literature review.What are you being asked to do in your literature review? Check your assignment question and your criteria sheet to know what to focus on. Select appropriate source material: Use a variety of academic or scholarly sources that are relevant, current and authoritative.The literature review is a written overview of major writings and other sources on a selected topic.Sources covered in the review may include scholarly journal articles, books, government reports, Web sites, etc.At undergraduate level literature reviews can be a separate stand alone assessment.The literature review is generally in the format of a standard essay made up of three components: an introduction, a body and a conclusion.A synthesis matrix helps you record the main points of each source and document how sources relate to each other.VCU's Writing Center consultants can help you plan, develop, and organize your literature review and a follow-up appointment will help you edit, proofread, and revise it.The literature review provides a description, summary and evaluation of each source.It is usually presented as a distinct section of a graduate thesis or dissertation.