A literature review assesses a body of research that is connected to your research question.
A literature review
- Identifies what is already known about an area of study
- Includes all the facets that might touch the topic
- Helps identify questions a body of research has yet to answer
- Makes a case for why further study of research questions is important
It is a journey that is cyclical rather than linear. Expect to return to and refine earlier efforts as your understanding of the research changes and grows.
- Framing a research question
- Searching through the existing work
- Managing your search results
- Synthesizing the content from the research literature you've selected
- Writing an assessment of the existing literature