Literature Review: A Self-Guided Tutorial

What's a Literature Review?

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:

  • be organized around and related directly to the thesis or research question you're developing
  • synthesize results into a summary of what is and is not known
  • identify areas of controversy in the literature
  • formulate questions that need further research

View the video below for a brief explanation of lit reviews. (It's not just for grad students!)

What is a Literature Review?

Credit: NCSU Libraries. Video 1 of Literature Reviews: An Overview for Graduate Students.
Run Time: 3:12