A literature review summarizes and synthesizes the existing scholarly research on a particular topic. Literature reviews are a form of academic writing commonly used in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities. However, unlike research papers, which establish new arguments and make original contributions, literature reviews organize and present existing research. As a student or academic, you might produce a literature review as a standalone paper or as a portion of a larger research project. In order to understand literature reviews, it's best to first understand what they are not.
Literature Review Definition: Meaning, Requirements, and Writing Guide
If you are a student from another school, you are welcome to peruse the guide, using the links above, but please know that our librarians can only provide general help to non-BU students. Contact the librarians at your own institution for help in using the resources available to you. A literature review is a comprehensive summary of previous research on a topic. The literature review surveys scholarly articles, books, and other sources relevant to a particular area of research. The review should enumerate, describe, summarize, objectively evaluate and clarify this previous research. It should give a theoretical base for the research and help you the author determine the nature of your research. The literature review acknowledges the work of previous researchers, and in so doing, assures the reader that your work has been well conceived.
COLLS 2001: College Scholar Seminar (Spring 2021)): Literature Review
PLoS Comput Biol 9 7 : e Editor: Philip E. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. The funders had no role in the preparation of the manuscript. Competing interests: The author has declared that no competing interests exist.
Published on 22 February by Shona McCombes. Revised on 9 June A literature review is a survey of scholarly sources on a specific topic.