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7 May 2020

How to write a literature review

You’re probably used to writing essays by now (if not, we’ve got some tips here). But have you ever written a literature review?

A literature review is an exploration of the published literature on a particular topic. By ‘literature’ we mean books, academic journal articles, book chapters, and other sources. For undergraduate assignments, a literature review is designed to give you a good understanding of the main debates within an area of study and provides your marker with evidence of considered reading. Honours and postgraduate students may write a literature review prior to developing a research question and writing a thesis.

A literature review requires you to analyse and evaluate key literature on a given topic – to identify, compare and contrast common themes explored in the literature.

Much like an essay, they have an introduction, a body and a conclusion. You can read the Library’s online guide which includes information on all aspects of writing a literature review, including the structure and the language you should use. 

Here are five top tips for tackling a literature review. 

If you need further help with writing a literature review, or any other assignment you’re working on, get in touch with our Study Support team. Language and Learning Advisers can assist you with understanding your assignments and can provide tips and strategies for developing your academic writing skills. Make an online appointment now.

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