How to Write a Literature Review: Actionable Tips & Links

A literature review is a compact analysis of the literature, backing up a selective subject area. Here, you will have to present thoughts of your own, explaining multiple facets of an argument, besides evaluating the research findings and their related quality. Assignments, field works, dissertations and even specific essays have a separate literature review section. Here, in this content piece, we have incorporated step-by-step guidance on how to write a literature review, its purpose, actionable tips and essential links.

Important elements of your literature review

Here is a complete list of the basic elements that make up your literature review:

  • Objectives: Define your purpose of choosing the paper backed by objectives.
  • Introduction/background:Come up with an overview of your research topic.
  • Methods:Write down a step-by-step process describing how you have evaluated relevant materials.
  • Body:Here, you can compare or discuss themes/gaps in the literature you have chosen.
  • Conclusion: Add in a summary of your analysis done so far. Also, write down how it relates to the original scientific endeavour or parent discipline.
  • Bibliography: Now it’s time to add a list of all the papers that you have added. Check out various citation styles and come up with the most relevant solution.

Literature Review – Purpose

  • To offer the necessary background information about your research topic.
  • To establish the importance of your topic.
  • In order to demonstrate your familiarity with a problem/topic.
  • To position your work in the form of a scholarly conversation.

Literature Review – Characteristics

  • Elaborating essential research trends.
  • Assessing weaknesses and strengths of pre-existing research work.
  • Detecting potential gaps in available information.
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How to write a literature review? A step-by-step guide

Here is a comprehensive guide on how to write a literature review:

  • Check out the required format

In order to come up with an adequate outcome and avoid rework, go through the necessary literature review citation guidelines from your instructor. This will help you:

  1. Add context to your study.
  2. Help readers get to the core of the cited sources in real-time.
  3. Enable further research by incorporating the right content and informing others about the study area already accomplished.

Be sure to cite ideas while:

  1. Paraphrasing
  2. Quoting directly
  3. Making a summary
  4. Comparatively unknown facts
  • Select a topic

Abide by the steps mentioned below to come up with an adequate topic:

  1. Go for a topic that you find interesting. It will also help you maintain a consistent flow and produce an accurate result.
  2. Do not go for a topic that hasn’t been researched by anyone else. Ensure there is enough amount of literature review.
  3. Avoid going for a broad topic as it will be a challenging study. Also, an overly filtered topic will make you miss relevant articles.
  • Narrow down your area of research

Stick to your study area, brainstorm with your instructor, and develop relevant content. You can also seek paper help services available online and let them carry on with the research part.

  • Compare among selected articles

At the initial stage, all articles will appear to be the same. However, the deeper you go, the more you will be able to differentiate. Look out for:

  1. Methodologies, conflicting theories, results.
  2. How widespread the theories are, along with their area of relevance.
  3. Expert writers and their published work.
  • Organise as per patterns (similar) and influence
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Create subtopics as per:

  1. Similar patterns.
  2. Influential theories.
  3. Essential trends.
  • Come up with a purpose statement or thesis

Incorporate one or two lines at the end of your literature review summarising your approach and providing all the necessary inputs.

Literature Review: Actionable Tips

Ask yourself the following questions before including an article in your literature review:

  • Is the issue/problem clearly explained by the author in writing?
  • What is the research orientation? (combination, interpretive or critical science)
  • What is the theoretical framework? (developmental, feminist, psychological)
  • What is the relation between research ad theoretical perspectives?
  • Is the content rightly justified as per the requirements of your literature review?
  • How does the article/book/writeup contribute to your problem area of study, and what are its limitations/strengths?

Literature Review: Writing Tips

While writing a literature review, keep these tips in mind:

  • Consider the audience you are writing for. For example, are you writing for a specialist, or it is just a part of your regular class assignment.
  • If you are writing for a general audience or completing your school homework, avoid jargon and use simple English.
  • You can also seek homework help online to come up with detailed outputs.
  • Use short paragraphs as they are easier to read and come out clear, meaning-wise.
  • Add in subsections and subheadings in your content wherever you need them.
  • A literature review is more than an annotated bibliography; make sure that your final content has all the necessary meanings intact.
  • Focus on readings that you have already identified as representative or essential.
  • Come up with necessary information, explaining how the literature added intersects with your assignment.
  • Make sure to be objective while writing.
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What makes a literature review stand out from the rest?

  • Make sure that your literature review is discursive prose.
  • It is more than summarising or describing multiple articles.
  • A content piece with solid evidence of analytical thinking.


As we all know, a literature review is about backing up your field of work with relevant literature content and pre-existing studies. Objectives, introduction, methods, body, conclusion and bibliography are the main components of the same. Considering the topic, we have tried to incorporate step-by-step guidance backed by accurate tips to make your writing the best of the rest.

Author Bio: Raymond M. Fernandez is a sociology assignment writer professor living in Wellington, UK, and provides assignment help online to the students at

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