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Literature Review: Introduction

This guide presents tools and advice for conducting a Literature Review.

What is a Literature Review?

"A literature review is a written document that presents a logically argued case founded on a comprehensive understanding of the current state of knowledge about a topic of study. This case establishes a convincing thesis to answer the study's question.

(Machi, L.A. & McEvoy, B.T. 2009, The literature review: six steps to success, p. 4)

What is a Literature review:

  • Is a critical, in-depth evaluation of research already undertaken on a specific topic.
  • Allows you to demonstrate your ability to identify relevant information and to outline existing knowledge.
  • Identifies the gap in the research that your work will address and produce a rationale for your own research.
  • Is not a list of all previous research, but rather an assessment of the research.

This guide provides general guidance - check with your supervisor/lecturer/school to find out if there are any specific requirements for your literature review before proceeding.

Literature review Books

Find more by doing a search on  OneSearch for the phrase “doing literature review” and then in the left panel limit your results to Library Catalogue to see some of what is available.