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Here’s a Guide on How to Write a Literature Review

By Tanu Tyagi In Arts & Literature Posted On September 28,2017 0 Comments

What is a Literature Review?

Not to be confused with a book review, a literature review is a survey of dissertations, books, scholarly articles, conference proceedings and research papers which are based on a specific topic, area of research, description of a topic, theory or a critical overview of someone’s work. There are two types of literature reviews that one might write: one that a student in a university is asked to write during their researcher training and the other is written for an elaborate research, thesis or report.

To understand how to write a literature review, it is necessary for a researcher to read published literary reviews, dissertations or thesis in the specific field and analyse the structure of the arguments that are made and understand how issues are addressed.

Writing a Literature Review

The following steps should be followed to write a well-structured review:

Find a topic or area of study that you can write about. Brainstorming would help in a big way.


  • Read up on published literature and gather all the information on the topic. Adding other people’s studies on the topic along with your point of view would help get you better understanding on the topic.


  • After gather all the information try and compress it to a specific subject. Ask yourself questions like – What interests me? Or what interests others?


  • Find out scholarly articles and understand the methodologies and assumptions of other researchers. Evaluate all the conclusions that they draw.


  • Try and create sub – topics from the published papers. Look for common topics and influential theories and trends in research.


  • Write a brief conclusion about what you have observed in the major trends and developments through the research papers you read. This will be your Working Thesis.


  • Create headings and sub-headings from the published papers you have read and if your research is elaborate, then it is better that you create your own headings and Sub-headings.


  • Start writing the body by making sure that each heading logically links one heading or sub-heading to the other before and after. Avoid listing the work of researchers or theorists with a heading.


  • Try and elaborate on the previous researches rather than just stating the research that has been done. Draw comparisons and provide a logical analysis of the conclusions that the researchers had drawn so that to give your paper some credibility and authenticity.


  • After the body is complete and the conclusion is written it is necessary that you revise and edit unnecessary additions and omit any grammatical errors. The text should be written in academic style. Everyday language and descriptive style should not be used. Check for any plagiarism by cross checking all the citations.


  • Reading out loud will let you understand better that when and where the punctuation has to be applied. Also, any unclear sentences would be cleared if you read them out loud.


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