A literature review provides an overview of the scholarly writings published on a topic by scholars and researchers. Specifically, a literature review:
The literature review forms the justification for your research. It is the platform upon which you will build your argument, place your research in context, and demonstrate how your research improves the discipline.
1. Define a research question.
Your literature review should be guided by a central research question. The research question should be neither too broad nor too narrow.
2. Decide on the scope of your review.
How comprehensive does it need to be? For example, how many years should it cover?
3. Select the databases you will use to conduct your search.
Your database choices may be partially or completely dependent on the subject you're researching. Start with the databases on this guide, then broaden out to others if necessary. Ask a Librarian or contact Kelly directly if you need suggestions.
4. Conduct your searches and find your literature.
5. Review the literature. Some guiding questions to keep in mind are:
6. Write your paper.
You may want to sort the materials you have read based on their different themes, theoretical foundations, or conclusions. Then, for each article, describe the research that was done and the conclusions of the authors. Discuss how that particular work contributes to the understanding of the subject that you are working on.