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Literature Review


Approach the literature review in sections.

Avoid direct quotations, unless necessary.

Avoid summarizing others research by including your own conclusions, supporting your statements with evidence.

Types of Literature Reviews

Stand-alone: A literature review can be a separate document or assignment.

Part of an Essay, Report or Thesis: A literature review can be a component of an essay, report or thesis.


The introduction should present the topic of research, address any controversies and provide background information and the history of the topic.


The body can be broken down into headings related to themes, theories and trends in the literature. Each heading should summarize and evaluate the literature for its contributions, and identify any strengths, weaknesses, contradictions and gaps in the research.


The conclusion should briefly summarize key concepts and trends found in the literature.

The conclusion of a literature review that is the introductory part of an essay or thesis should conclude by indicating what contributions your research will make to the field.

The conclusion of a stand-alone literature review should suggest practical applications for the research and possibilities for future studies in the field. It may also be accompanied by an annotated bibliography, briefly summarizing each source.

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