Literature reviews integrate and synthesize previous literature in order to provide a new perspective on a topic. The review describes, summarizes, evaluates, clarifies, and/or integrates the content.
Literatures reviews can be:
a. Part of a larger study, which provides a foundation and demonstrates understanding of the academic conversation about the topic.
b. Freestanding, an overview of a topic which is of value because it indicates future areas of study (points out gaps, highlights central or unresolved issues, bridges related or disparate areas, and offers new perspectives) and identifies key authors and texts.