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Writing the Literature Review: Home

This guide reviews the content and structure of a literature review/meta-analysis - a form of scholarly writing and a part of most theses and dissertations.

Types of Literature Reviews

A literature review is an essential part of a thesis or dissertation and is often included in many other forms of scholarly writing (journal articles, books). Some literature reviews are also published as stand-alone articles. It's rare that anyone teaches you how to write a literature review or discusses why it's necessary so this guide is intended to remedy that.

A literature review may be called by another name, including:

  • review of the literature
  • bibliographic essay
  • literature survey, or, survey of the literature
  • systematic review
  • meta-analysis (a lit review of quantitative sources with statistical analysis)
  • meta-synthesis (a lit review of qualitative sources with statistical analysis)

A guide to types of literature reviews appears here: http://guides.mclibrary.duke.edu/c.php?g=158155&p=1035849

Managing Your References/Works Cited Information

Please consider using either RefWorks or Zotero to keep track of your references for the lit review you will be writing for me, and for the research you are doing for your thesis.  Life will be much easier if you do, I promise.