These guidelines are adapted primarily from Galvan (2006).
Galvan outlines a very clear, step-by-step approach that is very useful to use as you write your review.
I also provide links at the end of this guide to resources that you should use in order to search the literature and as you write your review.
In addition to using the step-by-step guide that I have provided below, I also recommend that you (a) locate examples of literature reviews in your field of study and skim over these to get a feel for what a literature review is and how these are written (I have also provided links to a couple of examples at the end of these guidelines (b) read over other guides to writing literature reviews so that you see different perspectives and approaches: Some examples are: Read through the links provided below on APA guidelines so that you become familiar with the common core elements of how to write in APA style: in particular, pay attention to general document guidelines (e.g.
A literature review or narrative review is a type of review article.
A literature review is a scholarly paper, which includes the current knowledge including substantive findings, as well as theoretical and methodological contributions to a particular topic.
At the graduate or doctoral level, the literature review is an essential feature of thesis and dissertation, as well as grant proposal writing.
That is to say, “A substantive, thorough, sophisticated literature review is a precondition for doing substantive, thorough, sophisticated research…A researcher cannot perform significant research without first understanding the literature in the field.” (Boote & Beile, 2005, p. It is by this means, that a researcher demonstrates familiarity with a body of knowledge and thereby establishes credibility with a reader.
A meta-analysis is typically a systematic review using statistical methods to effectively combine the data used on all selected studies to produce a more reliable result.
The process of reviewing the literature is often ongoing and informs many aspects of the empirical research project.