A literature or narrative review is a comprehensive review and analysis of the published literature on a specific topic or research question. The literature that is reviewed contains: books, articles, academic articles, conference proceedings, association papers, and dissertations. It contains the most pertinent studies and points to important past and current research and practices. It provides background and context, and shows how your research will contribute to the field.
A literature review should:
A literature review can be written as an introduction to a study to:
Or it can be a separate work (a research article on its own) which:
Some of the limitations of a literature review are:
Source: Grant, Maria J., and Andrew Booth. “A Typology of Reviews: An Analysis of 14 Review Types and Associated Methodologies.” Health Information & Libraries Journal, vol. 26, no. 2, June 2009, pp. 91–108. Wiley Online Library, doi:10.1111/j.1471-1842.2009.00848.x.
Meryl Brodsky: Communication and Information Studies
Hannah Chapman Tripp: Biology, Neuroscience
Carolyn Cunningham: Human Development & Family Sciences, Psychology, Sociology
Larayne Dallas: Engineering
Janelle Hedstrom: Special Education, Curriculum & Instruction, Ed Leadership & Policy
Susan Macicak: Linguistics
Imelda Vetter: Dell Medical School
For help in other subject areas, please see the guide to library specialists by subject.
Periodically, UT Libraries runs a workshop covering the basics and library support for literature reviews. While we try to offer these once per academic year, we find providing the recording to be helpful to community members who have missed the session. Following is the most recent recording of the workshop, Conducting a Literature Review. To view the recording, a UT login is required.
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