Generally speaking, a literature review (lit review for short) is an analysis of existing scholarly publications that directly relate to your research question.
The purpose of a literature review is to:
It may sometimes be more helpful to think about what a literature review is not:
Different Types of Literature Reviews
Literature Reviews are most often included in research papers but they can also be stand-alone works. Lit reviews types vary, so it is important for you to know and follow the guidelines for your assignment.
Here are the most common types of Literature Reviews:
This extensive, step-by-step guide by the University of Toledo Libraries goes beyond the summary outlined in Box #2, and includes charts and printable checklists. Click here (or on the image above) to access the guide.
More good guides to check out:
Organizing & Writing a Literature Review, University of West Florida A helpful guide by the University of West Florida Library that offers step-by-step instructions on how to organize and write a literature review.