What is the Literature Review?
Purpose of the Literature Review
The literature review helps place your research in the context of what has already been done in the field. The literature review is a component of most scholarly writing. Dissertations include a chapter-long literature review, and research articles will include a literature review near the beginning of the article. Sometimes an entire article will be devoted to reviewing the literature.
Resources for your Literature Review
The literature review focuses on primary, peer-reviewed resources. Often starting with the seminal literature of the field, it mostly consists of research articles on the topic. Secondary sources are used sparingly, if at all.
In order to write a comprehensive literature review, you must search in multiple databases. No single source will have all of the primary resources you should consult. A comprehensive literature review should include searches in the following:
- Multiple journal databases
- Book databases
- Sources outside the library
Credits for this tutorial: About this Tutorial [PDF].