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Writing a Literature Review   Tags: sped799  

This guide is designed to help students writing a literature review for a Master's level project or paper. It can also be adapted to use with a large research project at other levels.
Last Updated: Jan 3, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Printed Guides

These books will provide additional help for writing a literature review.


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What is a Literature Review?

What is a literature review?

  • It reviews a collection of published research related to a research question.
  • It summarizes, evaluates, describes and/or integrates information on that research question.
  • It provides an overview of significant literature published on a topic.

Generally, there are five parts to a literature review.

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Body
  • Conclusion
  • Bibliography

This guide will offer tips and suggestions for writing a literature review.  Use the tabs above to learn about each step in the process.


What is the Value in Writing a Literature Review?

A literature review will help you:

  • Identify seminal works and authors in your topic area (i.e. the really important ones!)
  • Evaluate the current state of research in your field and identify trends.
  • Identify possible gaps in the literature for the topic.
  • Give your research a conceptual framework.
  • Understand divergent opinions on a topic if it is controversial.
  • Demonstrate your understanding of your chosen field.

Other Research Guides

Doing Research in Education?--Where to Start!
by Donna Nix - Last Updated Jun 25, 2014
This is a beginner's guide for doing research in education. It has information about resources for the field of education for new researchers; whether they be a graduate or undergraduate student and taking classes on campus, or in an off-campus cohort.
650 views this year
Citing Sources
by Jan Orf - Last Updated May 3, 2012
This guide provides an overview of how to cite sources in scholarly bibliographies, including the APA, Chicago, MLA, ASA, and science styles.
857 views this year

Contact me for assistance

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Donna Nix
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phone: 651-962-4662
mail: MOH 206, office: MOH 206F, Keffer Library
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Subject Guide

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Merrie Davidson
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Keffer Library, MOH 206G
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