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 "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:
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.
Image adapted from NCSU Libraries’ Graduate Student Literature Review Workshop.
Adapted from UCLA Professor Snowden Becker's "How to Read an Article".