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What is a literature review?
A literature review is a presentation on what is the current state of knowledge on any particular topic. Or in other words, what are the scholars saying about _____ topic. It is not just a summary of various sources; rather it is a synthesis of various subtopics across sources and the similarities/disagreements between those various sources. The review is organized by subtopic rather than the source itself.
A literature review is based upon thesis driven arguments where researcher "A" maintains one argument and researcher "B" maintains another. Your job is to then:
- Show the most relevant information found in each source
- Assess the expertise of the author
- Identify theories
- identify variables
- Identify Research Methodologies
A challenge will be keeping your information organized since you have to keep subtopics and individual sources in mind. A matrix will help you do this. This chart allows you to, across the top, record your sources. Along the side you will organize by subtopic
Class Handout: Student Guide to Literature Reviews
Bryant, Nita. "The Review." VCU Libraries Research Guides, Virginia Commonwealth
University, 14 Aug. 2017, guides.library.vcu.edu/lit-review. Accessed 18