Creating Literature Reviews


Literature reviews are great resources for research projects in all disciplines, presenting the key ideas in a field, pointing to must-read articles, and sugesting directions for future research. How do you go about writing one, though? This page is a collection of resources and tips for creating your own literature review.

This first video takes you on an outer space journey with different disciplines at UCLA, introducing how to create a literature review and what you can do with it when it’s done.

The Process

"The Literature" in literature reviews refers to the body of scholarly research on a topic - including articles, books, datasets, and more. After you’ve gathered a mix of resources for your review, it’s tempting to summarize each one and call it a day. However, literature reviews are more than a collection of summaries: they analyze connections and disagreements between sources, identify gaps in the collective knowledge, and more. Check out the video below for more information:

Types of Literature Reviews

As mentioned in the first video, literature reviews can take different shapes based on your research needs. You can either have a narrow or broad focus, and the finished piece can stand on its own or be part of a bigger project.

Types of reviews and where to use them Image adapted from NCSU Libraries’ Graduate Student Literature Review Workshop.

Skimming for What You Need

Adapted from UCLA Professor Snowden Becker's "How to Read an Article".