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Literature Reviews: Getting Started

Resources for students and faculty doing literature reviews.

What is a Literature Review?

A literature review is an examination of the major scholarly research done on a topic or research question. The literature review, which is usually assigned within the context of a larger assignment, serves two purposes:


1. The literature review familiarizes you with the research that has been previously done on a particular question and reveals the major themes, arguments, authors, and findings in the body of research.


2. The literature review helps you to see gaps in the research and potential directions for your own research.


Literature Reviews, Explained

What is "the literature"?

When a professor asks you to review "the literature", you are being asked to look at all of the scholarly writing on a particular topic. This includes scholarly articles, books, conference proceedings, and dissertations.

Writing a Literature Review: Videos

Created by Justin Harrison of the University of Victoria Libraries. 

Created by the University of Maryland University College.

Literature Review Examples

Contact the Librarian

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Jessica Neave
BSC Library
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