A Literature Review is the part of a scholarly article that discusses scholarship important to the issue that is being studied, as well as key sources that informed the research that went into the article. It is normally located after the introduction but before the methodology section of a scholarly article. A Literature Review is important because:
Literature Reviews include a brief summary of a source as well as a discussion about the source in relation to other research on a topic. Literature Reviews can be standalone documents, but are often incorporated into a scholarly article and vary in size from a paragraph to a couple of pages in length.
The following are good locations to see examples of Literature Reviews:
If you need guidance on how to write a Literature Review, Purdue University's OWL website has a good guide.
University of Arizona's Global Campus does a great, brief introduction to literature reviews
Scholarly articles are usually divided into specific sections:
When building a Literature Review, you will want to conduct a comprehensive search in your subject area. There are a few ways you can do this:
1. Look for subject headings for an article. These are controlled vocabulary the article databases use to organize information.
2. Use the advanced search function and the drop down menu to search by subject.
3. Look at the reference list at the end of the article for similar studies. These are good places to see what else has been written about a topic.
You may wish to consult the following databases when searching for scholarly articles: