What is a literature review?
A literature review is a comprehensive and up-to-date overview of published information on a subject area. Conducting a literature review demands a careful examination of a body of literature that has been published that helps answer your research question. Literature reviewed includes scholarly journals, scholarly books, authoritative databases, primary sources and grey literature.
A literature review attempts to answer the following:
- What is known about the subject?
- What is the chronology of knowledge about my subject?
- Are there any gaps in the literature?
- Is there a consensus/debate on issues?
- Summarize AND Synthesis
- Synthesis: Different Solutions/What is missing/Trends/Debate/What is most relevant or pertinent.
- Create a clear research question/statement
- Define the scope of the review include limitations
(i.e. gender, age, location, nationality...)
- Search existing literature including classic works on your topic and grey literature
- Evaluate results and the evidence
(Avoid discounting information that contradicts your research)
- Track and organize references