What is a literature review?
A literature review is usually assigned as a part of a larger research project. The purpose of a literature review is to:
- Identify relevant research on your topic to show your familiarity and preparedness for your project
- Provide background information for your topic
- Provide an evaluation of the literature on your topic
- Explore your own topic by identifying further questions to explore
There are several steps in writing a literature review. The following outlines an approach you can use to develop your own literature.
Step 1 - Finding Resources
Step 2 - Reading
Step 3 - Ideas and Arguments
A literature review is meant to synthesize information related to a specific thesis or research question you are developing. This means that it requires more work than a simple summary of an article. When developing your literature review you need to understand the ideas and arguments made by the author and how they relate to your own research topic. To find the key ideas and arguments from a source, ask yourself these questions:
- What is the problem/issue identified by the author?
- What perspective is the author taking? Are they interpreting information or critical
Step 2 - Synthesize and Evaluate