In essence, a literature review identifies, evaluates and synthesises the relevant literature within a particular field of research. It illuminates how knowledge has evolved within the field, highlighting what has already been done, what is generally accepted, what is emerging and what is the current state of thinking on the topic. In addition, within research-based texts such as a Doctoral thesis, a literature review identifies a research gap i. However, your literature review does not need to be inclusive of every article and book that has been written on your topic because that will be too broad. Rather, it should include the key sources related to the main debates, trends and gaps in your research area. A review of literature presents much more than a summary of relevant sources.
What Is a Literature Review?
How to Do a Literature Review: 13 Steps (with Pictures) - wikiHow
Learning Skills:. Writing Your Dissertation or Thesis eBook. Subscribe to our FREE newsletter and start improving your life in just 5 minutes a day. A literature review demonstrates that you have read around your topic and have a broad understanding of previous research, including its limitations.
Researching and Writing a Literature Review
PLoS Comput Biol 9 7 : e Editor: Philip E. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. The funders had no role in the preparation of the manuscript. Competing interests: The author has declared that no competing interests exist.
The literature review is an integral part of any research project and is undertaken as a means of surveying what research has been conducted previously on a particular topic. There are many reasons for conducting a literature review, but one of the primary reasons is to establish a base line of what is already known on a topic before exploring the topic any further. The review typically involves a search of any previously published or presented materials that might have relevance to a prospective new study.