Answered By: APUS Librarians Last Updated: Sep 21, 2022 Views: 66085
What is a literature Review?
A literature review is a written summary of the existing published research on a topic. A literature review can be brief (a section in a larger article) or it can be an entire article unto itself. The purpose of a literature review is to provide an overview of the current knowledge on a topic, and/or to provide a context for new research.
Click here to see a table that lists the various kinds of literature reviews that you may encounter in your research. (From Grant, M. J. and Booth, A. (2009), A typology of reviews: an analysis of 14 review types and associated methodologies. Health Information & Libraries Journal, 26: 91–108. doi:10.1111/j.1471-1842.2009.00848.x)
To find the literature review section in a scholarly article:
- Scholarly publications (especially peer reviewed articles) will always include at least a brief literature review in their introduction and discussion sections. Click here to learn how to find scholarly or peer reviewed articles.
- Theses and dissertations should include a detailed literature review. Click here to learn how to find theses and dissertations in our library. Once you find one, look through its headings. Literature reviews are typically located at the beginning. Some examples of headings that include a literature review might be:
- Literature Review
- Survey of the Literature
- Review of the Literature
- Use keywords to narrow your search to literature reviews. For example:
- motor learning AND literature review
- motor learning AND systematic review
- A few databases will let you limit your search to literature reviews only. You'll typically find this "document type" or "publication type" option in the database's advanced search options.
Here are examples from two popular databases (EBSCO and ProQuest):
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