This is the "Literature Reviews" page of the "Literature Reviews (or Reviews of the Literature)" guide.
Alternate Page for Screenreader Users
Skip to Page Navigation
Skip to Page Content

Literature Reviews (or Reviews of the Literature)   Tags: academic_research, literature_review, research, review_of_literature, writing_guides  

Defines "literature review" and provides resources for how to find them and/or to write them.
Last Updated: Jan 28, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

Literature Reviews Print Page

What is a Literature Review

·         An examination of the significant works (books, scholarly articles, dissertations, and other works) published on a particular issue, area of research, or theory which provides a critical evaluation of each significant work.

·         Focuses on what is known about a specific topic and what methodologies, theses, and models have been applied to that research by other works.

·         Highlights areas of the research topic that appear to need additional research in order to reach a conclusion.

·         Provides background for the issue/topic and puts it into a chronological and/or historical perspective.

·         Clarifies areas where there is consensus (and not) within the prior research.

·         Indicates which information will be most useful to the current research (if the literature review is a part of a larger report).


Tutorial: The Literature Review of Review of the Literature


Types of Literature Reviews:

1.       A self-contained review of writings on a subject.

o   Contains no additional research to present.

o   Summarizes and explains the arguments and ideas of others.

o   Offers conclusions and opinions identifying the research works that provide significant contributions to the development and understanding of the subject at hand.



2.       An  essential piece of a larger work (i.e., scholarly article, dissertation, or thesis).

o   Offers an overview of relevant research conducted on the topic at the beginning of the work.

o   Used as a foundation to which the researcher will link his/her new research findings.




Subject Guide

Profile Image
Jennifer McKay
Contact Info
Office phone: 907-786-1977
Send Email

Lit. Review Websites

Consult these websites for more information about how to write a literature review:

 -      Graduate Writing Workshops: Literature Reviews (OWL at Purdue)

·         Write a Literature Review (UC Santa Cruz)

·         Review of Literature (UW Madison Writing Center)


Tutorials & Handouts


Loading  Loading...