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ID2050 - Worcester, MA Project Center - Professor Foo: About the Background Chapter / Literature Review

Literature Reviews

Your Background Chapter is similar to 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 

For more guidance, please review the following resources and tutorials:

Research Tip

When completing a literature review it is important to consider how your project may be considered within different disciplines.  For example, if you are attempting to create an effective children's program for a museum, within your literature review you would want to consider research in museum studies, early childhood education, marketing, and cultural studies in the locale where you will be working.

Books on Literature Reviews