How to write a literature review for a research paper


When we talk about a literature review, we are talking about a review linked to scholarly sources around a certain subject. Like any Test center an expert would explain it, a review of the literature provides an overview of the research gaps that already exist, describes the methods and also provides information related to current knowledge.

If you need to write a literature review for a research paper, you can contact someone at CustomWritings who write a research paper for you according to your directions. You will need to be able to collect, analyze and evaluate publications i.e. journals and books that relate to your subject.

Below are some steps you will need to follow to write a research paper related to the literature review.

Search for relevant literature

Before you start searching for literature, you should make sure to research literature that relates to your question and your research objective. If the literature review you are writing is part of an assignment, you need to make sure you create a central question that will help you in your research. Alternatively, this research question can also be answered without the need to collect original data as it can be answered by examining all existing publications.

Start by making a list of keywords related to your research topic. You will also need to list any terms or synonyms related to your topic. For example, if your topic is on social media, your keywords might be Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, and Twitter.

The second step that you will need to take is to research relevant sources and for that you can use your keywords to do this. Start by researching articles and journals online or head to your college library instead. Start by reading the summary to see if it relates to your topic and see if it relates to your question. If you are using a book, it may be helpful to check the bibliography to see if it can provide you with other relevant sources.

Evaluate your sources

It will likely be impossible to read everything that has already been written on your chosen topic, so you will need to determine which sources are best for you. As you view each post, you can ask the following questions:

  • What problem or question is the author answering?
  • What are the conclusions of the study?
  • Identify the key concepts and how they were defined.
  • How does this post help you understand the topic?
  • Highlight the strengths or weaknesses.

It is essential to use credible sources. For example, it is possible to see how many times a particular article has been cited on Google Scholar. If it has been cited a lot, it probably means that the article is credible and influential and therefore you should use it in your research paper.

As you go, be sure to take notes and write down any sources you plan to use. It is very important to do this in order to avoid plagiarism as well.

Identify gaps and themes

You should research all themes and identify gaps when looking at the sources. Try and look for the following:

  • Are there any themes or sources that seem to recur from one source to another?
  • Are there any knowledge gaps that need to be filled?
  • Can you see patterns, for example, are some approaches becoming less or even more popular over time?
  • What causes the different sources to disagree?

By completing the above, you will be able to decide how to structure your literature review and, if possible, highlight how your research can contribute to prior knowledge.

Describe your structure

When it comes to organizing the body of your literature review, there are a number of different approaches you can take. Before you start writing, you need to have an idea of ​​the strategy you will be following. It is possible to combine different strategies if the length of your exam can take it.

  • Thematic – If you have discovered recurring themes, you can organize your journal into subsections that examine the different aspects related to this topic.
  • Chronological – The simplest option is to follow the evolution of a subject over time. However, make sure you don’t just summarize and list the sources in order. You will need to examine the important trends and debates that have shaped the topic. Be sure to provide your interpretation of why and how specific developments have taken place.
  • Methodological – If you plan to use sources from various fields that may use different research methods, you can compare the conclusions or results from the different approaches.

Write your literature review for the research paper

Like any other academic writing, a literature review should have an introduction and main body, as well as a conclusion.

Introduction. Your introduction should identify the purpose and direction of your literature review.

The main body. If your literature review is long enough, you may want to consider breaking it down into subsections and using a relevant subheading for each approach or topic. As you begin to write, keep the following in mind:

  • Interpret and analyze: Make sure you don’t just paraphrase someone else’s work as you have to add your own interpretation and talk about the importance of all the findings and how they relate as a whole.
  • Write in well-structured paragraphs: Use thematic sentences to help you draw contrasts and comparisons as well as connections.
  • To summarize: Make sure you provide an overview that relates to the main points of each source you use, and then combine it all together.
  • A critical assessment: When doing a critical appraisal, you should make sure to mention the strengths and weaknesses that you found in your sources.

The conclusion

In your conclusion, you should summarize your main findings and stress the importance of those findings. When writing a literature review for your research paper, please avoid frequent mistakes a lot of students do.


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