Answered By: Sarah Hazelmyer Last Updated: Jan 28, 2019 Views: 27
What is it?
A literature review examines a large swath of information published on a given topic for a specific reason--to show the progression of research, to attribute meaning, to reinterpret findings, to assert relevance, etc. At first glance, a literature review may seem like a glorified summary; however, literature reviews are the avenues by which information on a given topic is synthesized. While effectively summarizing information, literature reviews examine research through a big picture lens.
Is it different from a research a paper?
Most definitely! Academic research papers are intended to introduce new arguments. Literature reviews, on the other hand, summarize and synthesize existing arguments and ideas but don't offer new contributions to the field. Literature reviews tackle the question: What do you we know about a given topic, and are there any gaps in the known research?
Resources for writing a literature review:
A few books available at the library:
- Writing Literature Reviews: A Guide for Students of the Social and Behavioral Sciences by Jose L. Galvan (print book)
- Conducting Research Literature Reviews: From the Internet to Paper by Arlene Fink (print book)
- Doing a Literature Review in Health and Social Care: A Practical Guide by Helen Aveyard (ebook)
- Writing a Literature Review and Using a Synthesis Matrix from NC State University's Writing and Speaking Tutorial Services
- Use a Literature Matrix to Summarize and Synthesize Research from VCU Libraries Research Guides
Getting help at EKU:
You don't have to go it alone! Take advantage of the following services to receive tailored, one-on-one help:
- Try using subject specific research guides to help you get started with your research by searching the recommended databases in your field.
- Schedule a time to meet with a librarian to get help in the research phase of your project.
- Meet with a Noel Studio consultant to receive guidance in the organization, formatting, and writing of a literature review.