Learn How to Write a Literature Review in Easy Steps

how to write a literature review

The literature review is the most important part of any academic paper. It summarizes your research, shows how it aligns with existing work in this area, and furnishes readership insight into what they can expect from reading future contributions by you or others on similar research paper topics.

When writing a research paper, you have to gather all the available sources related to your topic. A review helps you by showing how your work relates to existing research. It also demonstrates which research gap your work will fill.

When writing a review, it is important to learn how to do it correctly. This blog is written to help you learn how to write a literature review for a research paper.

What is a Literature Review?

The literature review is a general overview of the topic of your research and the main ideas and theories related to it.

The literature review gives an in-depth overview of the previous studies and their limitations, which helps to support your claim.

Literature reviews are often essential for papers, theses, and dissertations. They provide an overview of what has been written on a particular topic or issue within scholarly literature so it can be better understood by readers who may not have access to all these sources themselves.

The literature review is a very important part of your paper. It summarizes sources and critically evaluates them to give you an accurate understanding of the topic. Also, it is different from an annotated bibliography.

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How to Write a Literature Review?

The literature review is the key to any good academic paper. It’s where you summarize what other researchers have found and how their work relates (or doesn't) with your own research findings, so everything here must make sense.

It's important to know the proper process for drafting a literature review. If you are writing this for the first time, follow these steps carefully and thoroughly.

  1. 1. Understand the Requirements

    When you write your research paper for an academic assignment, make sure to understand your professor's requirements. This will help improve grades because it shows that they're looking out for specific things in their students' work and not just giving low-quality assignments without any direction.

  2. 2. Narrow the Topic

    Narrow down your research topic and think about what interests you. Talk with a professor and read other related work on the same subject matter for an idea of expected topics or themes in this field before writing anything.

  3. 3. Conduct Research

    To write a literature review, you need to define your source selection criteria. It should be relevant and interesting for the problem being studied in research. Find relevant journals, articles, or other sources like conference proceedings, scholarly articles; look up papers on Google Scholar using strong keywords and search different databases.

    It is important to think about what central themes and ideas connect your sources when doing research. This will help you focus on the information that matters most for your project.

  4. 4. Analyze and Select Sources

    To find the best sources for your research paper, it's important that you thoroughly read each source. However, this may be difficult, so some factors will help make analyzing more manageable:

    • Key findings of the research work
    • Methodologies
    • Results
    • Strengths and weaknesses
    • Possible contributions

    When you are looking for information, make sure that the source is reputable and relevant. You should search for how many it has been used in other works before deciding if you should use them.

  5. 5. Create Thesis Statement

    The thesis statement is the central idea of your paper and should be clear, concise, and direct. It is a very important part of your paper.

    The thesis statement contains the main points you see in your topic research. It presents a viewpoint about the topic rather than arguing for a position or opinion.

  6. 6. Literature Review Outline

    The literature review is a crucial part in any research paper outline. Its outline should be structured like other essays with an introduction, body, and conclusion.

    Let’s discuss these parts in detail.

    • Introduction

      The introduction section provides an overview of the topic, its importance, and relevance to readers. It also encloses information about what problems you want to solve with this research project, as well as the methodology used in achieving expected results.

    • Main Body

      The main part of the literature review is finding sources to write about. They have a lot in common, but each one is different. You need to give a brief overview of the main points of each source.

      You also need to discuss the significance of findings and not paraphrase other researchers' work. Summarize and synthesize the main points of each source.

    • Conclusion

      The conclusion of your paper summarizes what you have said in the introduction and restates the main points. In addition, you should discuss the results of your study. Additionally, you should describe any research gaps, approaches, and findings that your research uncovered.

  7. 7. Proofreading

    The proofreading phase is the last step in writing a literature review. After you've made all of your corrections, check to see if any spelling or grammar mistakes are left before submitting your work.

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Literature Review Examples

The following are some great research paper examples for a literature review to consider when writing your own.

How to Write a Literature Review For Dissertation (PDF)

How to Write a Literature Review For Dissertation

How to Write a Literature Review For a Research Proposal

Here is an example to help you learn writing a literature review in a research proposal.

How to Write a Literature Review For a Research Proposal (PDF)

How to Write a Literature Review For a Research Proposal

The research paper is the deciding factor of whether or not you will be granted your degree. Therefore it should always include all the relevant sections like a literature review.

Many students find the process challenging when it comes to writing research papers. Luckily TheEssayWritingService.com has your back with their professional writers who can provide help and guidance for your academic needs.

So, consult us and get help from the best essay writing service.


What are the 5 rules for writing a literature review?

The main five rules for writing the literature review are:

  • Define a topic.
  • Do some research and gather data from books, articles, etc.
  • Keep the main research question in your mind.
  • Choose the right type of approach such as theoretical framework, thematic, etc.
  • Listing and correctly summarizing data.

How long is a literature review?

The length of a literature review can vary depending on its purpose and audience. A literature review in a thesis is usually a full chapter, but for an assignment, it may only be a few pages for an assignment.

What should not be included in a literature review?

Here are some things that you should not include in the literature review.

  • Direct quotes
  • Extended quotations

What makes a strong literature review?

A good literature review is not just a list of articles. It should be written in clear, easy-to-read prose. A good literature review shows that you understand the topic well and can synthesize information from different sources.

Can a literature review include pictures?

The use of graphics in a literature review can help to better represent arguments and findings from secondary research. Diagrams are often used to summarize or analyze other writers' work on subjects, while graphs show trends over time with great accuracy.