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SWP538: The literature review

The Literature Review

What is a Literature Review?

A literature review is a critical analysis and review of published literature on a certain topic or research question. It is specifically designed to examine, analyze, and critique scholarly writings that are related to and around a research question or topic. The purpose of a literature review is to represent the literature that surrounds a particular topic and shows resemblance between the works you have researched and your research question.

There are five basic steps involved in a literature review:

  1. Defining your research question
  2. Planning your approach
  3. Searching the literature
  4. Analyzing your material
  5. Managing your results

This guide will illustrate each of these steps in detail and provide examples to help students in writing their literature reviews.