How to write a literature review | Contents & its types!!


In the undergraduate dissertation, students are often given dozens of suggestions on how to write a literature review. In spite of all these tips and ideas, some students often feel clueless about writing a literature review. As a result, they take help from online assignment help services to present a better literature review structure. But for a literature student, it is better to know what is a literature review and its benefits.

Hence in this blog, I am going to discuss a few essential things about Literature review, such as:

  1. What is a literature review?
  2. Types of Literature review
  3. Importance of Literature review
  4. How to write a literature review

What is a Literature review?

The students who write a dissertation or thesis needs a lot of research work. They get the responsibility to let the readers show things with a new perspective. Hence to make their point valid, it is essential to present the previous works done on your topic by the other scholars. This review of other works is known as Literature review.

In his book “How to write a literature review,” Jim Ollhoff gives definition to explain what is a literature review in following words-

“What do researchers know? What do they not know? What has been researched and what has not been researched? Is the research reliable and trustworthy? Where are the gaps in the knowledge? When you compile all that together, you have yourself a literature review.”

A literature review is an evaluation report of the other critics in the literature topic related to your interest area of study. It discusses the published information or data of the other scholars pertaining to your topic. It could be merely the summary of previous works or may evaluate or clarify your topic to the readers.

Literature review is always included in the beginning sections of a thesis or dissertation work. It is so because the researcher could give an idea to the readers about the previous discoveries on the same topic. In many graduate or post-graduate courses, students are asked to submit a dissertation. It is a part of their coursework. It is quite common in any research proposal.

A literature review is basically the combination of summary and synthesis. The summary of previous sources is a recap of the critical information related to that topic and synthesis is a reorganization or shuffling of the information.

Types of Literature review

Basically, a Literature review can be categorized in three different formats:

Argumentative review

As the names suggest, the argumentative reviews analyze the previous works in order to support or refute an argument or already established assumption. The purpose is to accumulate a list of previous opinions of other scholars, which directly or indirectly supports your argument.

Integrative review

If your research work does not have sufficient primary data to support your point, you can take help of the secondary data and information as well. Hence integrative reviews are a synthesis of those secondary pieces of information. The synthesis is done in a way that there should be the possibility of generating new ideas. It should help in getting a new perspective for your work.

Historical review

Historical reviews often focused on researching the topic or concept from its beginning. It examines the researches and works that contributed to the progress of your research work. It serves as a historical reevaluation of your work.

Suppose you are evaluating a text on the basis of deconstruction theory. Before the evaluation, you must start by introducing the deconstruction theory while giving details about the critics and philosophers who contributed and supported this theory. This process is called Historical review.

Methodological review

The proper Literature review meaning is only not about collecting what other scholars said. It is also about how it was told. Hence, Methodological review focuses on the different methods on how different researchers solved a particular problem by applying different methods.

Systematic review

If you observe a systematic literature review sample, you can notice it is better organized and has a clear approach as compared to the other literature review sample. It can be categorized into two sections- meta-analysis and meta-synthesis.

When the researcher conduct meta-analysis, he/she collects information from several studies on the same topic, while analyzing the statistical techniques.

However, meta-synthesis is based on the non-statistical procedures. Hence it evaluates the different information on the basis of multiple qualitative research studies.

Theoretical review

This literature review structure helps in evaluating the established theories, the relationship between the elements and the depth of the investigated theory. It is done in order to highlight the direction of your research work. It gives the readers an insight to guess the possibilities where the research work could go.

Hence, with the knowledge of various types of Literature reviews, it is easier for you to conduct your research work accordingly. It could be helpful for your thesis or dissertation work.

Importance of Literature review

You need to know the importance of writing a literature review, before knowing its contents and types. Rather than being a piece of a descriptive list of available knowledge on your topic, it serves more usage, such as:

Shows your research skills

A literature review shows the readers your in-depth research on the topic you have chosen for your dissertation. In general, a literature review layout speaks about the views of other writers on your chosen topic. The purpose behind writing a literature review is to let your reader know about the established ideas and knowledge regarding the topic you chose.

Helpful for the readers

It helps the reader to analyze the topic of the researcher in a better way. Hence the literature review gives a historical review or the works of other researchers related to the topic to give an insight to us. In a way, it guides the readers to analyze the research work.

Authorizes your work

Since it is a research work, you new to present new ideas before the readers. But you will have to take the help of the previous works to show the authenticity of your work. Hence, Literature review provides validation to your work.

Gives new meaning to your topic

Research is all about giving a new perception to an old topic. Hence, it helps in giving a new interpretation to the old materials available on the topic. In this way, it contributes to tracing the intellectual progress on your research topic. In one word, it offers a guide to the readers on the related topic. For the beginners, it could be useful as it acts as a stepping stone for their research work.

Now you know the importance of Literature review. Still you might be worried about how to write a Literature review. It would be better to seek help from  Literature review writing service to clear your doubts. These services would give you a helping hand in your distress.

Contents of literature review

Although if you are seeking assignment help online services, still you must know  about the contents of the Literature Review. It is not a difficult task to know how to write a Literature review. All you need to know is about its contents. It is like every other writing structure, Literature review template also consists of three main parts:


In this first part you have to introduce about the topic you are going to discuss, with an idea of the authors whose theory you are going to challenge or whose theories supports your viewpoint.

The main body

This is the central section where you show your real research works on the sources and information related to your topic. Here you explain about the works that help in providing a different perception to the established theory.


Now as you have explained your part of review work to the readers, here comes the concluding section. Now here you wind up the discussion to start up your real research work.

To make the content section more clear, you should observe the pattern in a few literature review template. Hence I am here providing you literature review example to make it more clearly for you:

How to write a Literature review


Decide on your topic

The first primary step is to select your topic for your research before deciding how to write a literature review. The topic will help you to analyze the type of review you should do on your topic.

Search relevant sources that support your topic

Here comes your research work which needs hard labour. Spend enough time in libraries to investigate the relevant sources related to your topic. This investigation will further help you to support your viewpoint, giving it an authentication before the readers.

Re-read and evaluate

Till now you must have read many online and offline sources to get information about your topic. Now re-read all those data to shortlist the information that is important to note. The evaluation of data should be on the basis of synchronizing the materials in a perfect way.

Review APA guidelines

You have got a perfect Literature review structure for your topic. But you should now read the guidelines to write it in a better way. There is an APA format which you should follow to present it in a better format.

Hope these suggestions help you to guide well in writing a literature review. However, there are many online writing services who usually guides the scholars or provide writing help through proficient experts. But since literature review is a task for the research scholars, it is essential for them to know these necessary things about literature review meaning.


Literature review acts as a stepping stone for the research scholars to begin their work. This literature review is beneficial for the readers as well as it helps them to get a clue about the whereabouts of the content of the topic. Hence it is vital for you to know how to write a literature review. Hope this blog helped you with its suggestions and advice.

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By Susan White

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