How to write a literature review?

A literature review is a search and evaluation of the available literature on your given subject or chosen topic area.

A literature review has four main objectives:

  • It surveys the literature in your chosen area of study
  • It synthesizes the information in that literature into a summary
  • It critically analyses the information gathered by identifying gaps in current knowledge; by showing limitations of theories and points of view; and by formulating areas for further research and reviewing areas of controversy
  • It presents the literature in an organized way

A literature review shows your readers that you have an in-depth grasp of your subject; and that you understand where your own research fits into and adds to an existing body of agreed knowledge.

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