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. To get started with a literature review, follow these suggested steps.
1. Search for research handbooks or annual reviews in your field. Research handbooks and annual reviews often provide a review of the current literature in a field. They are a great place to begin to get the scope of the research that is out there. You can also use the bibliographies to find relevant sources. Listed below are a couple of research review sources to try. You can find additional resources by searching the Library Catalog.
2. Look for sample literature review articles. Scholarly journals often contain articles that review the literature for a certain topic. These are great articles to use to see how a literature review is organized and written. If you find a literature review article on your topic, you may also be able to use the bibliography to find additional sources.
3. Review tips sheets on how to organize and write a literature review. A few suggested resources are listed below.