What is a Literature Review?

In her psychology classes, Katie often heard terms such as “review the
literature” or” literature review.” At first, she was
a little confused by these terms. If she needed to conduct a literature review, did that mean she needed to look at novels with psychology related topics? Katie soon learn that in the academic world
the term “literature” is often used to describe the collective
body of scholarly works related to a topic. The literature usually consist of
scholarly books or articles published in academic
journals. When Katie was told she needed to review the literature, this meant she needed to find
previously published scholarly works that were relevant to her topic. Katie
learned that there are several reasons to conduct a literature review. First, looking at previously published
sources help her to gather ideas or information related to her topic. It helped to keep her up to date on current
trends and major findings related to her interests and it helped her to develop new research
questions. Katie found that she was usually
required to include a literature review section whenever she wrote a research paper. In
this part of her paper she would summarize previous research
related to her topic and show how this was connected to her
own research. Katie also learned that, in some cases, the term “literature review”
is used to refer to a specific type of scholarly paper. In this case, the author does not
usually conduct an original research experiment. Instead, the entire purpose of the paper
is to summarize and analyze the literature on a topic. To sum up, in the academic world, “literature” is a
term often used to refer to all the previous scholarly works on a topic. In a research paper, the literature
review is a section of the paper with the author summarizes previous research
that is relevant to the topic. While research papers usually contain
literature reviews, a paper that is only a literature review is not
usually considered a research paper. Created using Powtoon

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