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Graduate Education

A research guide to help you find books, articles and other resources on topics in Education.

Video: Literature Reviews: An Overview

What is a literature review?

A literature review is: 

  • A place to make connections between what you are investigating and what has already been investigated in your subject area
  • A place to engage in a type of conversation with other researchers in your subject area
  • A place to identify previous research on the topic
  • A place to show there is a gap in the literature which your study can fill
  • A place from which to begin your own investigation

Simply put, a literature review helps you and your readers understand:

  • What you know about  your topic
  • What other people know about your topic
  • What research has been done
  • How research was done
  • Where are the gaps?
Ridley, D. (2008). The literature review: A step-by-step guide for students. London: Sage   Publications, p. 2.

A literature review is NOT...

A literature review is NOT:

Critically evaluating sources

Literature Reviews: Websites