Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Why do a literature review?
A literature review examines the scholarly literature around your particular thesis or hypothesis. This piece of writing is not a review of the entire field, but of fields related directly to your study. A literature review is a critical survey and assessment of the existing research on a particular topic. The emphasis here is on the word “critical” – showcasing your critical thinking skills in this document is part of the reason for doing it, so the literature review must not be a mechanical exercise but a true piece of scholarship.
A literature review should provide a firm intellectual context for the research in the body of the thesis by systematically describing, summarising, evaluating and clarifying current thinking in the field, then synthesising what you have found to create a justification for your own project.
Use the techniques of active reading when preparing your literature review, posing questions as you go. Your approach will also involve organised reading, creating a growing and dynamic document or series of documents that accumulate your raw materials and deepen your understanding.
Writing the Literature Review (Part 1)
Writing the Literature Review (Part 2)
Literature review books
An Easy Guide to APA Style by
Call Number: 808.06615 SCH
Master APA style and format quickly and easily! Written by experienced psychology instructors, this book provides an easy alternative for anyone struggling with APA style.
The literature review by
Call Number: eBook
This book is a concise step-by-step guide to conducting a literature search and writing up the literature review chapter in graduate dissertations and in professional doctorate theses. Diana Ridley describes how to carry out a literature review in a systematic, methodical way, providing useful strategies for efficient reading, conducting searches, organizing information, and writing the review itself.
Writing for academic success by
Call Number: 808.066 CRA 2012
The authors show you how to acquire communicative rigor in research essays, reports, book and article reviews, exam papers, research proposals, and literature reviews, through to thesis writing, posters and papers for presentation and publication.
We acknowledge the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first inhabitants of the nation and acknowledge Traditional Owners of the lands where our staff and students, live, learn and work.