What is a Literature Review?
It is…. a systematic and critical analysis of the literature on a specific topic. It describes trends, quality, relationships, inconsistencies and gaps in the research; and it details how the works enhance your understanding of the topic at large.
It is NOT…. simply an annotated bibliography that summarizes and/or assesses each article. There is not one, correct way to approach and write a literature review. It can be a stand-alone paper or part of a thesis/dissertation. Format and requirements can vary between disciplines, purpose and intended audience.
A literature review is an overview of existing literature (books, articles, dissertations, conference proceedings, and other sources) in a particular scholarly area. With a lit review, you will:
The literature review will assist you in considering the validity and scope of your research question so that you can do the necessary revision and fine tuning to it. It provides the foundation to formulate and present strong arguments to justify your chosen research topic.
Check out these books from the library for further guidance:
As you are developing your Lit Review, part of your objective is to identify the leading authorities within the field or who address your topic or theme. Some tips for identifying the scholars:
Old Fashioned Method:
The Web of Science platform currently also provides temporary access to several databases that are not part of the Core Collection, including Biosis Citation Index, Data Citation Index, and Zoological Record.
Use this link to access Google Scholar, and see our Google Scholar Guide for information on using this resource.
If you encounter a warning about the security certificate when using the FindIt@UT tool in Google Scholar, you can learn more about that using this guide.
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