As an advanced form of academic writing, a literature review critically analyzes the relationship among different scholarly works and the current work. It can be written as a stand-alone paper or as part of a research paper explaining a theoretical framework and related studies. Unlike an annotated bibliography which presents a summary of a book, article, a literature review combines both summary and synthesis.
|Annotated Bibliography||Book Review ||Literature Review|
|Summarizes the references and explains how important they are in addressing the research questions||Evaluates a book||Reviews a significant number of scholarly work to identify what is known and not known about a topic.|
- Justifies a research question, method, or theoretical and conceptual framework.
- Establishes the relevance of the topic.
- Provides necessary information to better understand a specific topic or study.
- Shows reviewers familiarity and mastery of the topic.
- Establishes the niche of the study.
- Resolves conflict among contradictory studies.
- The purpose of writing the literature review and the importance of the topic being reviewed
- The scope of the review.
- Criteria used for selecting the literature
- Organizational pattern of the review
- Historical background
- Relevant stories
Relationshipbetween and among the studies, and how each study advanced a theory
- Strengths and weaknesses of each paper
- Various viewpoints of the topic
- Restatement of the main argument or thesis
- Main agreements and disagreements in the literature
- If stand-alone paper: conclusions, implications, and direction for future studies
- If part of a thesis or research paper: linking of the literature review to the research questions
- Overall perspective of the topic