The purpose of the literature review is to know what others have discovered before you begin your investigation of your own, to ground your study in a
particular context of what is known about a subject in order to establish a foundation for the topic (or question) being researched.
Use APA Formatting
Outline for Writing a Literature Review:
(1) Introduction (without this heading)
Write an introduction paragraph for your review. This paragraph
a. Defines or identifies the general topic, issue, or area of concern, thus providing an appropriate context for reviewing the literature.
b. Tells the reader specific information on how many articles you reviewed and how you sorted the articles into common themes based on findings (results).
c. Points out overall trends in what in what has been published about the topic; or conflicts in theory, methodology, evidence, and conclusions; or gaps in
research and scholarship; or a single problem or new perspective of immediate interest.
d. Establish the writer’s reason (point of view) for reviewing the literature; explain the criteria to be used in analyzing and comparing literature and the
organization of the review (sequence); and, when necessary, state why certain literature is or is not included (scope).
(2) Writing The Body (without this heading)
Before you begin this section, be sure that you have sorted your articles into different themes based on the articles’ findings (sometimes called results). After
you sort your articles, it is important to give your sorted groups a descriiptive name. The names of the sorted articles will become your headings for each of
the paragraphs that you write in the body of your review. The body of your literature review will include,
a. Theme 1: a paragraph or several paragraphs that describe the first theme that you identified and compare, contrast and/or connect the articles you’ve
selected. Characteristic include commonalities, differences, and nuances
– Study 1 (Research question(s), Methods/Participants, Related Findings)
– Study 2 (Research question(s), Methods/Participants, Related Findings)
b. Theme 2: a paragraph or several paragraphs that describes the second theme that you identified and compare, contrast and/or connect the articles you’ve
selected. Characteristic include commonalities, differences, and nuances. Use same procedure as theme 1
c. Theme 3: a paragraph or several paragraphs that describes the third theme that you identified and compare, contrast and/or connect the articles you’ve
selected. Characteristic include commonalities, differences, and nuances. Use same procedure as theme 1 and 2.
(3) Writing the Conclusion
This is the last paragraph of your literature review. In this paragraph, it is important to briefly (a) summarize the main findings from the articles that you
reviewed and to point out how your inquiry questions were answered or not answered, (b) pointing out major methodological flaws or gaps in research,
inconsistencies in theory and findings,(c) and areas pertinent to future study.
This is the last pages of your review. It serves as a listing of all references that you mentioned in your paper (both draft 1 and draft 2). Please make sure that
only references cited in your drafts will be listed here. Please use APA style when completing this list.