A literature review is one of the first things done by any student or scholar who plans to pursue new knowledge or do research in most subject areas. It involves identifying, locating, and examining information and publications on a particular topic. A literature review allows a student or scholar to integrate and synthesize information on a topic and use it to support and pursue new knowledge and creations. It complements some forms of lab research so that a scholar knows what is known about their topic before or as they do their own research. Literature reviews may be done as an assignment or as a required part of a thesis or dissertation. They can also be included in a grant or funding proposal to give support of an idea, and are frequently used in evidence-based practice in various fields.
Here are the reasons for doing a literature review:
A literature review is not:
A literature review can be very simple, where some articles, books or other information sources are identified, critiqued, and summarized. It can also be very complex where its focus is very narrow or it condenses many information sources. Regardless of its simplicity or complexity, it lays out a logical case to defend points or to come to conclusions on a given topic.
This Guide will help you with the following:
Originality statement: Some of this content is from Guide to Science Information Sources (Research Guide) by K. Padron (2022) at https://libguides.fau.edu/science_resources. Additional content has been added, revised, and repurposed on this Research Guide.