what is literature review in report writing

what is literature review in report writing

What is literature review in report writing

  1. Define your subject and the scope of the review.
  2. Search the library catalogue, subject specific databases and other search tools to find sources that are relevant to your topic.
  3. Read and evaluate the sources and to determine their suitability to the understanding of topic at hand (see the Evaluating sources section).
  4. Analyse, interpret and discuss the findings and conclusions of the sources you selected.

The literature review is a written overview of major writings and other sources on a selected topic. Sources covered in the review may include scholarly journal articles, books, government reports, Web sites, etc. The literature review provides a description, summary and evaluation of each source. It is usually presented as a distinct section of a graduate thesis or dissertation.

What is literature review in report writing
If you are writing a literature review as a stand-alone assignment, you will have to choose a focus and develop a central question to direct your search. Unlike a dissertation research question, this question has to be answerable without collecting original data. You should be able to answer it based only on a review of existing publications.
Make sure the sources you use are credible, and make sure you read any landmark studies and major theories in your field of research.

What is literature review in report writing
Example of a paragraph in a literature review
You might argue for the relevance of a specific theoretical approach, or combine various theoretical concepts to create a framework for your research.

Taylor, D. (n.d.) The literature review: a few tips on conducting it. Available at: https://advice.writing.utoronto.ca/types-of-writing/literature-review/ (Accessed 27 April 2020).
Although you clearly need to write in an academic style, it can be helpful to imagine that you are telling a story. The thread running through the story is the explanation of why you decided to do the study that you are doing. The story needs to be logical, informative, persuasive, comprehensive and, ideally, interesting. It needs to reach the logical conclusion that your research is a good idea.

  • a description of the publication;
  • a summary of the publication’s main points;
  • a discussion of gaps in research;
  • an evaluation of the publication’s contribution to the topic.

An annotated bibliography is a list of your references with a summary of the content and the publication’s relationship to your research question. A literature review is an overview of the topic, an explanation of how publications differ from one another, and an examination of how each publication contributes to the discussion and understanding of the topic.