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VCU's Writing Center consultants can help you plan, develop, and organize your literature review and a follow-up appointment will help you edit, proofread, and revise it.VCU University College Writing Center Many patrons who find this guide have experience with research.
In writing the literature review, your purpose is to convey to your reader what knowledge and ideas have been established on a topic, and what their strengths and weaknesses are.
As a piece of writing, the literature review must be defined by a guiding concept (e.g., your research objective, the problem or issue you are discussing, or your argumentative thesis).
Instead, organize the literature review into sections that present themes or identify trends, including relevant theory.
You are not trying to list all the material published, but to synthesize and evaluate it according to the guiding concept of your thesis or research question" (Taylor, D.
You must concentrate on publications that have influenced the field you are writing about.
Ensure that you use publications that are written by reputable authors.
Related Study Guides are: Referencing and bibliographies, Avoiding plagiarism, Writing a dissertation, What is critical reading? The focus of the Study Guide is the literature review within a dissertation or a thesis, but many of the ideas are transferable to other kinds of writing, such as an extended essay, or a report.
The ability to review, and to report on relevant literature is a key academic skill.
Definition and Use/Purpose A literature review may constitute an essential chapter of a thesis or dissertation, or may be a self-contained review of writings on a subject.
This Study Guide explains why literature reviews are needed, and how they can be conducted and reported.