How do I do a literature review? What does that mean?
A literature review evaluates, analyzes and discusses findings based on original research on a particular topic as it relates to humanities, the sciences and social sciences. By doing a literature review, you will not only recap the summary of each of the sources found on a specific topic, but also reorganize pieces of information. You will then objectively synthesize these ideas and support it with evidence from your selected sources.
A literature review acts as a guide to reputable sources that would be relevant to the subject matter. These sources may include books, dissertations, scholarly journal articles and reliable websites. The information gathered will not only provide you with insight to the historical nature of the topics but it will bring you up-to-date with the investigation process.
When organizing the body of your literature review, keep the following steps in mind:
1) Introduce your idea or theme of research.
2) Organize and discuss your sources chronologically, thematically or methodologically in the body of your paper.
3) Conclude with the findings from reviewing your research as well as any recommendations for future studies.
Here are some link into additional information on how to write a literature review:
University of California-Santa Cruz University Library
Purdue Online Writing Lab
University of North Carolina of Chapel HIll-The Writing Center