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Literature Review: Writing Up Your Literature Review

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

Analysing the literature

When analysing the literature, consider the purpose of your literature review.

You need to take notes on the literature, and then analyse and interpret the content.

Organise the findings of your research into key concepts or particular themes.

Position your research question in the context of the literature you have read.

Synthesise the research material to identify similarities and differences, key relationships, controversies and weaknesses.

Demonstrate how your work contributes to the area of study and formulate questions for further research.

Writing the review

When writing up your Literature Review check to see if it has the following elements

  • An introduction explaining the purpose of the proposed research and how the review is organised to demonstrate that the purpose is worthwhile.
  • Heading (and sub-headings, if necessary) that tell the story in a logical order.
  • Signposts to guide the reader through the topics under discussion.
  • Selected references that represent the most recent and important contributions to the field.
  • Comparisons between and evaluation of the methods and results of the literature cited.
  • Clear links between the literature of the past and what you intend to do, showing why it is important and relevant.

(Denicolo, P. & Becker, L.M. 2012, Developing research proposals, p. 50)