Scholars approach library research strategically by choosing the best search tools, developing search vocabularies, designing effective searches, and analyzing search results thoughtfully. This guide looks at the process of searching for comprehensive and relevant literature as part of your literature review -- think of it as strategic information gathering. Scholarly or academic peer-reviewed articles will often be a part of the research paper. An entire paper that is only a literature review is called a "review article" and they tell the reader the current state of understanding about a topic.
Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper
What Is the Importance of Literature Review?
A literature review or narrative review is a type of review article. A literature review is a scholarly paper that presents the current knowledge including substantive findings as well as theoretical and methodological contributions to a particular topic. Literature reviews are secondary sources and do not report new or original experimental work. Most often associated with academic-oriented literature, such reviews are found in academic journals and are not to be confused with book reviews , which may also appear in the same publication. Literature reviews are a basis for research in nearly every academic field. A narrow-scope literature review may be included as part of a peer-reviewed journal article presenting new research, serving to situate the current study within the body of the relevant literature and to provide context for the reader. In such a case, the review usually precedes the methodology and results sections of the work.
Purpose of Literature Review
People often treat writing the literature review in an academic paper as a formality. Usually, this means simply listing various studies vaguely related to their work and leaving it at that. But this overlooks how important the literature review is to a well-written experimental report or research paper.
Published on February 22, by Shona McCombes. Revised on March 9, A literature review is a survey of scholarly sources on a specific topic. It provides an overview of current knowledge, allowing you to identify relevant theories, methods , and gaps in the existing research.