Skip to Main Content

Writing a Literature Review: Introduction

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.

Printed Guides

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

About OSF & Keffer Libraries

OSF Library Photo

O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library
651-962-5494 (Circulation)
651-962-5001 (Reference)
651-962-5400 (Hours)
2115 Summit Ave, St. Paul, MN 55105
Directions & Parking
Library Hours

Keffer Library Photo

Charles J. Keffer Library
651-962-4642 (Circulation)
651-962-4664 (Reference)
651-962-4640 (Hours)
MOH 206, 1000 LaSalle Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55403
Directions & Parking
Library Hours

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

Contact me for assistance

Profile Photo
Conrad Woxland
Charles J. Keffer Library | MOH 206F
Subjects: Education, Psychology