A literature review surveys books, scholarly articles, and any other sources relevant to your research topic or thesis statement. It should provide a theoretical summary or critical evaluation of these scholarly works.
You will need to analyze, evaluate, and synthesize the research that you’ve found on your topic. A literature review should give context to your thesis and, if possible, reveal any gaps in the current literature.
To bring your readers up-to-date and fill them in on what has been published on your topic.
To allow you a better understanding of your topic.
Provides thorough knowledge of previous studies.
Introduce seminal works.
Help focus one’s own research topic.
Identify a conceptual framework for one’s own research questions or problems.
Indicate potential directions for future research.
Suggest previously unused or underused methodologies, designs, quantitative and qualitative strategies.
Identify gaps in previous studies; identifies flawed methodologies and/or theoretical approaches.
Avoids replication of mistakes.
Help the researcher avoid repetition of earlier research.
Determine whether past studies agree or disagree; identifies controversy in the literature.
Test assumptions; may help counter preconceived ideas and remove unconscious bias.