Literature Review: A Self-Guided Tutorial

Write literature review

7. Write Literature Review

Unlike an annotated bibliography that summarizes sources in a list, a literature review discusses the themes, trends, and theories in a prose format. Your job in writing a literature review is to evaluate and synthesize the literature in order to make connections among scholarly works and to find gaps in the literature that your research could address.


The "Begin Composing" portion of the Literature Review page from the Writing Center at UNC - Chapel Hill provides several effective strategies for writing the literature review:

  • Include only the most important points from each source. You want to summarize, not quote from, the sources.
  • Include your own conclusions from analyzing, evaluating, and synthesizing what you learned from these articles.
  • Be sure that you are accurately representing the scholars' works in your own words.

Refer back to the examples in section 2 to observe how these scholars have organized and written their literature reviews.