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Writing a Literature Review

Where do I start? A guide to writing a literature review.

Literature Review Defined

What is a literature review?

A literature review is an account of what has been published on a topic by accredited scholars and researchers.

There are 5 basic steps to performing a literature review:

  1. Choosing your topic
  2. Finding information
  3. Evaluating the information's content
  4. Synthesizing the information's content
  5. Summarizing your findings

After you've completed all 5 steps, it's time to write about your findings. The actual review generally has 5 components:

  1. Abstract
  2. Introduction
  3. Body
  4. Conclusion
  5. Bibliography

This guide offers tips & "best practices" on how to perform & write a literature review. Click on a tab to learn more about a specific step in the literature review process, and, as always, if you have any questions, feel free to contact at librarian. We are here to help you with your research!!

Systematic Literature Review vs. Literature Review: What is the difference?

“Review articles are generally an examination of the literature from the author's perspective, a systematic review can be thought of as a study design." Nahin AM. New PubMed® Filter: Systematic Reviews. NLM Tech Bull. 2002 Jan-Feb;(324):e7.

  • A literature review is a discussion of the literature available on a specific topic, written from the author's point of view.
  • A systematic review is a paper written with strategies and procedures to bring all the literature of a specific topic together and review the results and conclusions in an unbiased way.

For more information on the difference and tips on using search filters, click the links below.