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Research Guides

Conducting Literature Reviews: Writing Your Review

Writing Your Review

Writing your Literature Review

  The Introduction

  • Define your topic carefully, outlining its scope and limits.
  • Explain the criteria by which you will review the literature, and the organization of your review.
  • Summarize what has been published, focusing on different theories, methods, evidence and conclusions from the previous studies.
  • Mention new areas of interest for future studies.

  The Body

  • Summarize the articles according to their importance.  The more important the study, the more time you should spend on its summary.
  • Focus on comparisons and analysis of the previous studies and how they relate to your own inquiry.  This is a necessary part of a literature review.  Be sure to show the relevance of these previous studies to your thesis and research.

  The Conclusion

  • Point out gaps in research, inconsistencies in your findings and areas for further study.
  • Summarize the significant articles and research studies from the literature, being sure to tie it to your thesis.