Its purpose is to set research precedence and provide support for the study’s theory, methods, results, and/or conclusions.
Not all research articles contain an explicit review of the literature, but many do, whether it is a discrete section or indistinguishable from the rest of the Introduction.
A literature review is an important part of any research project, as it sets your research in context and identifies how it fits with the research that has been done before.
You may be asked to write a literature review as part of a dissertation, thesis, or longer project, or as a separate assignment to develop the research, synthesis and analytical skills involved.
One way to conceive of a literature review is to think about writing it as you would build a bookshelf.
You don’t need to cut each piece by yourself from scratch.Rather, you can take the pieces that other researchers have “cut” and put them together to build a framework on which to hang your own “books”—that is, your own study methods, results, and conclusions.The contents of a literature review are determined by many factors, including its precise purpose in the document, the degree of consensus with a given theory or tension between competing theories, the length of the article, the amount of previous studies existing in the given field, etc.They can range from the selective (a very narrow area of research or only a single work) to the comprehensive (a larger amount or range of works).They can also exist as part of a larger work or stand on their own.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. The literature review found at the beginning of a journal article is used to introduce research related to the specific study and is found in the Introduction section, usually near the end.It is shorter than a stand-alone review because it must limit its scope to very specific studies and theories that are directly relevant to this study.In addition, all of its sections refer to the literature rather than detailing a current study.In addition, this type of literature review is usually much longer than the literature review introducing a study.