What is literature review in essay

This handout will explain what literature reviews are and offer insights into the form and construction of literature reviews in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. And a review does not necessarily mean that your reader wants you to give your personal opinion on whether or not you liked these sources.

What is the purpose of a literature review?

A literature review discusses published information in a particular subject area, and sometimes information in a particular subject area within a certain time period. A literature review can be just a simple summary of the sources, but it usually has an organizational pattern and combines both summary and synthesis.

what is literature review in essay

A summary is a recap of the important information of the source, but liferature synthesis is a re-organization, or a reshuffling, of that information. It might give a new interpretation of old material or combine new with old interpretations.

Or it might trace the intellectual progression of the field, including major debates.

what is literature review in essay

And depending on the situation, the literature review may evaluate the sources and advise the reader on the most pertinent or relevant. The main focus of an academic research paper is to develop a new argument, and a research paper is likely to contain a literature review as one of its parts.

Literature Review

In a research paper, you use the literature as a foundation and as support for a new insight that you contribute. The focus of a literature review, however, is to summarize and synthesize the arguments and ideas of others without adding new contributions.

what is literature review in essay

Literature reviews provide you with a handy guide to a particular topic. If you have limited time to conduct research, literature reviews can give you an overview or act as a stepping stone.

Table of contents

For professionals, they are useful reports that keep them up to date with what is current in the field. For scholars, the depth and breadth of the literature review emphasizes the credibility of the writer in his or her field.

what is literature review in essay

Comprehensive knowledge of the literature of the field is essential to most research papers. Literature reviews rveiew written occasionally in the humanities, but mostly in the sciences and social sciences; in experiment and lab reports, they constitute a section of the paper. Sometimes a literature review is written as a paper in itself.

If your assignment is not very specific, seek clarification from your instructor:. Look for other literature reviews in your area of interest or in the discipline and read them to get a sense of the types of themes you might want to look for in what is literature review in essay own research or ways to organize your final review.]