This is the "Understanding a Literature Review" page of the "Writing a Literature Review" guide.
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Last Updated: Jan 10, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Understanding a Literature Review Print Page

What is a Literature Review?

A literature review is a survey of information found in scholarly articles, books, and other literature related to your area of study. The goal of a literature review is to describe, summarize, evaluate and clarify the prior research on your topic. A literature review goes beyond summing up the research of others and explores the relationships within the literature. It determines what has already been investigated, identifies potential relationships between concepts, defines and measures key concepts and relates to research already completed in the field of study.

A literature review:

  • describes, summarizes, evaluates, clarifies and integrates information on your project 
  • places your project into the context of established work 
  • surveys scholarly articles, books and other sources relevant to your area of research
  • provides a description, summary, and critical evaluation of significant works 

Books on Literature Reviews

Cover Art
Conducting research literature reviews : from the Internet to paper - Fink, Arlene
Call Number: Q180.55 M4 F56 2005
ISBN: 9781412909044
Publication Date: 2005

Cover Art
Synthesizing research : a guide for literature reviews - Cooper, Harris
Call Number: H62 C5859 1998
ISBN: 0761913475
Publication Date: 1998


Books on Scientific Research & Writing

Resources on Literature Reviews


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