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How To Write A Literature Review: A Comprehensive Guide

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If you want to discover the secrets to writing an A+ literature review, read on below to discover Unemployed Professors’ guide to writing a literature review. It holds valuable tips and tricks for writing a literature review, formatting a literature review, and obtaining an A+ on your next literature review. If you do not have the time to write your own literature review or simply don’t want to write a literature review, go ahead and post your argumentative essay assignment on Unemployed Professors! You will nearly immediately receive competitive bids from a wide range of professors with expertise in writing literature reviews and other types of custom academic essays and custom academic research papers.

WHAT IS A Literature Review?


A literature review is an elaboration of the previous peer-reviewed academic research that has been conducted on a given subjective. It is written in research paper form and tends to group published studies either chronologically or by theme. The point of a literature review is to list all or a good portion of the previous scholarly and peer-reviewed literature that has been published on a given topic. When you write a literature review, you are essentially assembling and summarizing past research written on a topic through the scholarly literature about it.

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.



The first step in writing a literature review is to choose your topic. Sometimes your topic may be assigned to you or might be tied to writing a dissertation or writing a thesis. In other cases, you may be writing a standalone literature review and you will have the choice of what topic to write about. In writing a literature review, it is important to choose a topic on which much has been published so that it is easier for you to find sources for your literature review. Use online databases like Google Scholar, Magenta and JSTOR to find a wide variety of sources on your topic and read the abstracts of these sources prior to reading them as whole. This will help you determine if they are relevant for you in writing your literature review.

Once you have chosen your topic and identified themes in the research, you should organize your literature review. One approach to organizing a literature review is to proceed chronologically. Another more common approach is to group the sources you are using in writing a literature review by theme. Regardless of which approach you are using to write a literature review, make sure that the different sections of your literature review are grouped in an orderly manner. Topic sentences or headings are very helpful in writing a literature review as they allow you to identify specific themes in the literature or timelines pertaining to researching the subject you are writing a literature review on.

Finally, writing a literature review means connecting different elements of the literature you are reviewing. While writing a literature review in a lower-level class might simply involve listing a few studies that have previously been published on your topic, writing a literature review for a thesis or dissertation necessarily involves finding links between the sources. This means that as you write a literature review, you will juxtapose sources in relation to each other to examine similarities and differences between them. Find contradictions and similarities between sources, and explore the limitations discussed by the authors of these sources. This will allow you to write a literature review that provides the reader with directions for future research and which stands a good chance of representing a large part of a thesis, dissertation or research paper that you might have to write later.



When writing a literature review, you are most likely to be asked to format your literature review in APA, Chicago, Harvard, MLA or Turabian style. Based on the style that has been assigned to you, it is important that you either find a literature review template for your assigned style or find a style guide for the citation style that you must use. Citing your sources appropriately throughout your literature review will ensure that you do not lose points. It is also important to make sure that you cite all of your sources so as to avoid being accused of plagiarism. When you write a literature review, make sure that all of your citations are perfect before submitting.

Once you have formatted and referenced your literature review based on the style guide assigned to you, it is time to review your literature review to make sure it is formatted in a manner that is organized and coherent. Depending on the length of your literature review, write a literature review using either strong topic sentences or headings to differentiate between different elements of the literature that you are reviewing. Further, writing a literature review properly also means that you need to ensure that your sources are in dialogue with each other. Ensure that both of these criteria are met before your submit your literature review for grading.


The main difference between a literature review and a research paper is that a literature review is typically part of a research paper. While you might be asked to write a literature review independent of a research paper, a literature review is typically the section of a research paper, dissertation or thesis that provides context for the research question being explored within the existing literature. When you write a literature review, it is important that you keep this in mind because of the fact that a standalone literature review will not necessarily have a thesis as a research paper would. Rather, a standalone literature review is often assigned to demonstrate that you can conduct scholarly research on a topic even if you do not have a thesis. Keep this in mind if you are writing a literature review that is independent of a research paper, dissertation or thesis.

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