Posted on: 1st Apr 2020 615 Views

How to Write a Literature Review

The writing the literature review section includes the collection, evaluation and analysis of publication which is relevant to research questions. Students pursuing a master’s in the research field often find writing a literature review to be quite difficult. In this article, our research paper writing team is providing you with a guide about How to write a literature review for a research paper.

Write Literature Review

A literature review is basically a summary of publishing articles. It is a section in a research paper that includes an overview of new knowledge. The literature review part in the research paper helps you in the identification of relevant theories, techniques, and gaps in existing research. The 5 steps which you should follow while writing literature review include:

  1. Define objectives
  2. Perform Preliminary research
  3. Write a summary
  4. Create review logically
  5. Include references

A characteristic of a good Literature review includes a summary of different sources. It also involves analysis, synthesis, and critical evaluation of the subject.

How to write a Literature Review?

The 5 steps of writing a literature review for research are :

Step 1: Defining Purpose

In case you are writing argumentative Paper, It is very much important for you to write a thesis statement. If you are trying to perform an evaluation of scientific theories then you need to create a hypothesis for examining. It is very much important for you to write the purpose of research while writing reviews related to the topic. You should define objectives at the starting of the investigation. It is the tactics that will help you in including the specific point in your literature review section.

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Step 2: Execution of preliminary research

Here, you need to perform the preliminary research for finding suitable sources for the accumulation of information related to the topic. You can use different articles, books, etc. for searching arguments related to the topic. It is very much important for you to develop an understanding of key arguments related to the field.

After execution of investigation you should confirm that you have included the most recent publication by scholars. The different sources from where you could collect information relevant to your topic are Google scholars, Econlit, project muse, etc.  You can read the abstract of each publication as this activity will help you in addressing the relevant article for writing a literature review for the research paper.

  • Tip: You should prepare a list of database which you have search while execution of preliminary research.

Step 3: Writing Summary

While writing a summary of all publications you need to provide the background information about such publication. You should include the main point from publication in your thesis.

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Step 4: Developing Review Logically

Before starting to write a literature review, you need to first need to decide the scope of your literature review. At the time of writing a literature review you should consider your aim of the research. It is a step where you should arrange arguments in a logical manner. The literature review which you are writing should three parts these are an introduction, main body and conclusion.

Note: the sources which you should use for writing a literature review is completely dependent on the nature and type of assignment.

  • Introduction

At the time of writing the introduction part for the literature review in the research paper you should mainly emphasize objectives. You should also include background information on the topic when writing the introduction section. It is very crucial for you to clearly define the scope of the literature review.

  • Main body

You should categorize your main body section on the basis of the length of the literature review. The researcher can categorize the main body section of the literature review into subheadings. You need to follow the four basic steps for writing the main body of literature review these are:

(a) Summarise and synthesize: Here, you need to introduce new points from different sources and then you need to integrate them.

(b) Analyze and interpret: The suggestion here is that you should provide your own interpretations. This is a step when it is very much essential for you to demonstrate the importance of findings in the context of literature.

(c) Critical evaluation: You need to write the strengths and limitations of your study.

(d) Writing well-structured Paragraph: The researcher generally uses transitions and topic sentences for creating connections, making comparisons between different paragraphs.


  1. While writing the literature review for a research paper you should consider the following such as the aim of the study, research questions, the methodology used, etc.
  2. At the time of writing the literature review section you should also review your abstract.
  3. Making notes of key arguments can be helpful in writing the literature review section of the research paper.
  • Conclusion:

The conclusion part of the literature review mainly includes a summary of the main points.

Step 5: Include reference

Providing the reference and citation for the literature review is very much essential for proving reliability and validity. Before doing the references you should review your university guidelines. These tactics will help you in determining which types of references such as APA, Harvard, etc you need to do. You can utilize a bibliography for finding the other sources of literature relevant to your topic.

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From the above study it has been concluded that writing literature helps you in increasing your knowledge about the topic. Another fact which has been found from the above investigation is that the literature review is a summary of the main arguments.

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