How to do a Literature Review

What is a literature review? How do you do a literature review?

If you’ve been tasked with creating a literature review and are not sure where to begin, check out our new research guide – Literature Reviews at

“A Literature Review or “A Review of the Literature” is a survey of existing scholarly writings or published knowledge on a particular topic. It is not an analysis of a single work of literature (e.g. analysis of Moby Dick) but rather a survey, summary, critical analysis, comparison, and synthesis of multiple scholarly works addressing a specific subject area. Conducting a literature review is part of the research process and serves to establish a base of knowledge and overview of the principle works on a specific area of research as well as identify important themes, discoveries, areas of consensus and debate, change over time, and provide a foundation for further research. There are multiple lit review types and methodologies which vary by discipline and the particular requirements of your assignment.”


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