A literature review surveys scholarly articles, books and other sources relevant to a particular subject. It provides a description, summary, and critical evaluation of each source. Thus, the purpose of a literature review is to provide an overview of significant literature published on a particular topic. A literature review is not just a simple summary of the sources though - it should have an organizational pattern and a combination of both summary and synthesis.
A literature review should include:
A literature review must contain at least three basic elements: an introduction or background information section, the body of the review containing the discussion of sources, and a conclusion and/or recommendations section to end the paper.
Create a thematic organizational method to focus this section:
A literature review, particularly one of this length (15-20 pages), takes months to complete. To avoid leaving the assignment to the last minute (or the last few days) at the expense of the quality of your work, develop a timeline with specific milestones for each stage of the literature review process. These stages are:
If you want to write a high quality literature review, a timeline with specific milestones is essential, so set a due date for each stage of the process. Having a date planned and written down will help you stay on track for each stage and reduce feeling overwhelmed when writing.