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Writing a Literature Review

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 to the left to access the various pages in this guide. If you have any questions while here, use the Help box to the left to contact us.

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.

Literature Review Video

This video describes literature reviews as a section of a larger paper, but many of the points it conveys are also applicable to literature reviews as a type of paper or publication.

Source: Literature Reviews, Mary Moser,  Healey Library, University of Massachusetts Boston