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Writing a Literature Review: Home

This guide provides an overview of an engineering literature review and its place in a research project, thesis, or dissertation.

Literature Reviews

This guide brings together all the resources you will need to understand what a literature review is (and isn't), and to conduct and write your own literature review.

Use the red tabs or links below to navigate to each section

What is a Literature Review?

A literature review is a "systematic, explicit, and reproducible method for identifying, evaluating, and synthesizing the existing body of completed and recorded work produced by researchers, scholars, and practitioners."


Why is it important?

  • provides a context for the research topic
  • identifies major themes and concepts of the research topic
  • outlines gaps and flaws in previous research
  • enables the researcher to learn from previous theory on the subject
  • identifies what has been already covered to prevent duplication
  • position the work within the existing literature
  • discusses further research questions

A literature review can be a short introduction to an article, an article by itself, or the first chapter of a thesis or dissertation.

Adapted from:

Literature Review Video