A literature review (or lit review, for short) is an in-depth critical analysis of published scholarly research related to a specific topic. Published scholarly research (the "literature") may include journal articles, books, book chapters, dissertations and thesis, or conference proceedings.
A solid lit review must:
View the video below for a brief explanation of lit reviews. (It's not just for grad students!)
Credit: NCSU Libraries. Video 1 of Literature Reviews: An Overview for Graduate Students.
Run Time: 3:12