Writing a literature review can be an independent exercise or can be part of a larger project such as writing a thesis or writing a dissertation. Regardless of why you are writing a literature review, the same general rules will apply. You should use Google Scholar or your favorite academic database to find articles about your topic. You should then group these articles into themes and take extensive notes. Once this is done, you should proceed to write your literature review by summarizing these sources and building connections between them.
In writing a literature review, you should typically prioritize sources that have been published during the last five years. Writing a literature review in this way is superior as it means you will be writing on the newest knowledge in the field regarding your topic. This said, you may wish to include older sources in a literature review if no one has worked on them in the last five years or if a source is a classic piece of work that no one has ever replicated. Writing a literature review means that you have comprehensively covered the topic you are writing on. Combine a majority of new research with some older classic research to write a great literature review.
Ultimately, writing a literature review not only involves listing the existing literature on the topic you are researching but also building linkages between the different publications that have previously discussed your topic. Because writing a literature review is often oriented towards finding a hole in the existing literature to write a dissertation or write a thesis, think critically when you are reviewing the literature and writing a literature review. Writing a literature review will often be very helpful for you in finding a topic for your dissertation, thesis or even a research paper.