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Literature Reviews: What is a lit review?

Writing Lit Reviews


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What is a literature review?

A literature review is:

  • An essay based on a list of books and journal articles,
  • on a specific topic,
  • grouped by theme,
  • and evaluated with regard to your research. This evaluation would identify connections, contradictions and gaps in the literature you have found.

Literature reviews should include in-text citations to multiple scholarly articles, which are listed in a bibliography, references list, or works cited list.

The purpose of a literature review is:

  1. To learn and explore the academic opinions on the subject (the connections).
  2. To discover the disagreements on the subject (the contradictions).
  3. To find opportunities (the gaps) for developing and describing your own research.