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What Is Literature Review? Guide On Writing It

The option of research in these assignments aimed to introduce and acclimate you to the practice in preparation for this research project.

What Is Literature Review? Guide On Writing It

Monday January 21, 2019,

4 min Read

Literature Review Of A Specific Kind Of Text/Topic

what is literature review


In previous assignments, you were given opportunities to use research information in your writing, even though research was not a main focus. The option of research in these assignments aimed to introduce and acclimate you to the practice in preparation for this research project. This research assignment emphasizes on research and will be especially critical of the scope of your sources and how well you represent research information (in-text citations).

What Is Literature Review

This assignment asks you to perform a literature review of a specific kind of text/topic, to continue the course’s theme of the world being a text. A literature review gives a brief history or overview of scholarship or professional writings on a specific topic, highlighting the most significant contributions to the development and advancement (increased knowledge) of said topic. “Literature” in this case does not mean “literature” in the traditional, literary sense, but rather it means “major/important writings.” “Review” in this case means “overview.” It is important for you to know that a literature review not only summarizes the major writings of a specific topic but it also provides a critical analysis of these writings and explains their relationships to one another.

Required Resources

Again, researching on GALILEO is required. Do not research on the World Wide Web, only on GALILEO. You must compile 7-10 major writings on your topic, which means you must have 7-10 sources. Your sources must be academically appropriate and fall within the range of credibility, reliability, and depth as discussed in class.

In-Text Citations

While I expect that the majority of your essay content to come from the literature you are reviewing, it does not mean that your paper can be composed mostly of quotations! Your summaries of the literature must be in your own words for the most part. You may quote sparingly here and there. Each of your source must not be quoted more than twice if using short quotations (four lines or fewer) and once if using long quotation (more than four lines but not 10 lines).


Your summary of each source must reflect your understanding of our discussion of the essential elements of a summary. It must contain the writer’s name, text’s title, and a sufficient, effective summary highlighting key points/findings/contributions.

Critical Analysis/Evaluation

Following your summary of the text, you should explain its significance to the understanding of the topic. What effect does the article have on the field or the understanding of the topic? What unanswered questions did it help to shed light on? What myth, presumptions, or prejudice did it help to debunk or dispel? How did it make the topic to be viewed differently? What challenges or implications did it pose? What breakthrough did it accomplish, if any? How did it reshape, inform, or pave the way for future research? How did it build on previous research/knowledge? What are some strengths? What are some weaknesses?

Structure of Literature Review

Your paper can follow this suggested structure.

  • Introduction – give context and background information for your topic, give an overview of your critical analysis of all texts reviewed (thesis statement)
  • Literature Review – review each text separately in its own paragraph in the order of publication (chronological order), the structure of your individual review paragraph can consist of a summary followed by a critical analysis/evaluation.
  • Conclusion – reiterate the main idea of your essay, give concluding statements about all texts reviewed and their significance, provide insightful final statements about the topic as it relates to the literature


Times New Roman font, 12-in size, one-inch all-around margins, and double-spaced throughout. Essay must be at least five full pages long but no more than eight pages long. Point deduction will be applied to any paper falling short of the minimum page requirement.


You can use a topic you have already written about in previous essays for this class and reorient the focus of the topic so that it reflects the objectives of this research assignment or choose another uncommon controversial topic. Keep in mind that one of the main central points of this assignment is research. Research (and by extension your ability to recapture and analyze research information) is highly emphasized. While you may use an “old” topic, you may not turn in a revised “old” paper. You are allow to use only the same topic and nothing else. For example, if your cause and effect essay was about the effects immigration has on a country (according to you), then your literature review on the effects immigration has on a country must give an overview of the professional/scholarly writings expounding on these effects.