A literature review is an evaluative or critical report of information (i.e. sources) related to your selected area of study. The review should describe, summarize, and evaluate these sources. Additionally, it should establish relationships among sources and in relation to your field of research. It should give a theoretical base for the research and help you (the author) determine the nature of your research.
Purpose of a Literature Review:
1. Identifies what is already known about an area of study.
2. Provides context for the research and allows you to gain methodological insight.
3. Justifies the need for the research (i.e. original work, rather than a summary of pre-existing research) by demonstrating that the work (your work) is adding value to the academic and professional field.
4. Identifies gaps, omissions, and limitations in previous research.
5. Assists you in refining, refocusing, or changing your topic.
Review the following websites for tips on writing a literature review:
"Literature Reviews (Get Lit)." 2009. The University Writing Center, Texas A&M University.