A literature review is usually one of the first steps in the research process. It gives you an overview of what has already been published on your chosen topic, so you can decide whether it’s worth writing about it yourself or if there’s already enough material available for you to use in your own research.
A literature review should not state an opinion on a topic or take sides in an argument. Instead, it should be an objective analysis of what other people have written about your subject matter. The idea behind this type of research is that by reading what others have written about your topic, you will gain new perspectives that you might not have considered otherwise.
The purpose of writing a literature review is to provide evidence that supports your arguments in your research paper or dissertation. As such, it’s important to keep track of all the sources you use so that you can properly reference them in your work.
A literature review should include:
The topic for which you’re conducting your research (as well as any subtopics).
The main concepts related to your topic.
The main theories and concepts related to your topic.
Relevant keywords from within this field (i.e., keywords that people searching for information on this topic would use).