What is a Literature Review? Guide, and Examples

What is a literature Review?

Many students, researchers, and professionals are writing reports, a thesis, research papers, and a dissertation. All of these reports require a literature review. A literature review is the summary of previous work and research done by different researchers about a specific topic, industry, or area of research. It is a research of scholarly written reports on a particular topic. A literature review includes research from different books, journals, and articles written by previous writers on a specific topic. Your literature review should focus on giving a summary of the previous history of work and how you going to utilize it in your paper to support your arguments. The literature review provides you the knowledge of the current dynamics of the topic and also shows its history of it so that you can find gaps from previously done research and demonstrate gaps through your research paper (PES, 2021).

A literature review provides a “landscape” for the reader, by giving a full understanding of the developments in the field.  A literature review sets the ground for your research by providing the strengths and weaknesses of current research on a specific topic. If you are not aware of how to write literature review and looking for help, keep reading my article. Below I will discuss how to write a literature review and also provide examples of it.

The purpose of the literature Review:

Before getting into the process of writing a literature review, let’s have a look at what purpose a literature review serves in your reports, research paper or thesis, etc.

  • It sets the ground for your research work
  • Provides the history, background, and current knowledge about the topic
  • Gives credit to previous researchers
  • Helps to identify the area of conflicts, improvements, and gaps in research
  • Provides proof why you need additional research work on that topic
  • Helps to develop the arguments to defend your research work.

Guide, on how to write a literature review:

There are six steps involved in writing a professional review which will help you in writing and formulating your research paper, dissertation, reports, etc.

1.    Select your topic and narrow it down:

Narrow your research topic and find out what the interesting area of your research is and what will interest your reader in your research paper. Limit your topic to a smaller scale and concentrate on a specific topic.

2.    Start your searches:

Now you have decided on a specific topic for your research, now you can begin by searching different articles, previous research, and reports and writing material about a specific topic. Start your search from different relevant sources such, google Scholar, insight gate, survey monkey, JSTOR, EBSCO, insider, etc. must read the abstract of the articles to get the knowledge that it relates to your area of a research topic.

3.    Read and evaluate the articles:

Once you have found the related articles and research work, now it’s time to read them thoroughly and evaluate, which source is more relevant and closer to your research topic in providing information and evidence. Make sure the sources you use are credible and reliable.

4.    Organize and analyze the Articles:

Once you read it and evaluated the importance and relevancy to your topic, start organizing them and generating subtopics from them. Finding out the commonalities between articles, important trends, gaps, conflicts, and influential theories. To begin organizing your literature review’s argument and structure, be sure you understand the connections and relationships between the sources you’ve read. This step will guide you on how your research is going to contribute to existing research.

5.    Outline your literature review:

It is time to outline your literature review. In this part, you will provide a title, main, and subheading to your literature review. There are various methods to organize the body of your literature review such as, theoretical, chronological, and methodological, it depends on the length and approach of your literature review (Snyder, H., 2019).

6.    Write your literature review:

Like other academic writing, in a literature review, you need to first write the introduction of your literature review topic and set the ground for the readers, and grab their attention by providing summarized information about the purpose of the literature review. Now move towards the body paragraph, depending on the length of your literature review you can add various body paragraphs related to different previous studies and also cite them into it. After finishing writing the body paragraphs, now you need to write the conclusion for your literature review about the key findings and summarize the significance of the literature review to your research paper. If you are a student and still struggling to write a literature review and require help to write a dissertation you can pay for dissertation and get it done by professionals through online academic service-providing companies.

Examples of literature review:

Below I am providing a different example of a literature review with the links and topic. You can read it and take help to build your literature review.

  • Example literature review 1: “Why Do People Migrate? A Review of the Theoretical Literature” (Theoretical literature review about the development of economic migration theory from the 1950s to today.)
  • Example literature review 2: “The Effects of Communication Styles on Marital Satisfaction” (a review of chronological literature).
  • Example literature review 3: “How Physical Intimidation Influences the Way People Are Bullied” ( methodological literature review example)
  • Example literature review 4: “Living with chronic illnesses: How are those with a chronic illness treated by their families since their diagnosis?” ( thematic literature review example)

Quick Review:

Let’s have a quick check of what, we have discussed above and summarized them!

Literature review? A literature review is the summary of previous work and research done by different researchers about a specific topic.

Six steps of writing a professional literature review:

  1. Select and Narrow your research topic: select the topic and limit the scale of your topic by narrowing it down.
  2. Begin your searches: start searching for information from different online and offline platforms.
  3. Read and evaluate: thoroughly read and evaluate the previously written articles and research work.
  4. Organize and analyze the work: start organizing and generate subtopics.
  5. Outline your literature review: outline your literature review in a chronological, theoretical, thematic, or methodological way.
  6. Write your literature review: start writing with the introduction, and body paragraphs and also provide conclusive findings.


PES (2021) 5-easy-habits-to-improve-your-literature-review, Professional Essay Service –. Available at: https://www.professionalessayservice.co.uk/5-easy-habits-to-improve-your-literature-review/ (Accessed: December 20, 2022).

Snyder, H., 2019. Literature review as a research methodology: An overview and guidelines. Journal of business research104, pp.333-339.

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