Writing the Literature Review

A literature review is intended to summarize and synthesize the pertinent research on a topic by professionals in the field.   A literature review can stand alone or appear as part of a longer work, such as a research proposal.  The quality of the literature review is dependent upon (a) the thoroughness of the writer's search, (b) the quality and  reliability of the writer's sources, (c) the ability of the writer to relate research studies to one another and to the writer's own thesis or purpose, (d) the objectivity of the writer in selecting, interpreting, organizing, and summarizing the research he or she has reviewed. 


The links below provide information about, and examples of, literature reviews undertaken for a variety of purposes.


A List of Online Resources


Review of Literature

University of Wisconsin-Madison Writing Center


Writing A Psychology Literature Review

University of Washington Psychology Writing Center


How to Write a Literature Review

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Writing a Literature Review [emphasis on how to organize]

Dr. Judity Rouchecouste, Graduate School, Edith Cowan University


What Is a Literature Review?

Salmon Library, University of Alabama, Huntsville


Writing a Literature Review [a three-part site]

Wesleyan University Library


Literature Reviews: A How-To Guide

Sister Helen Sheehan Library, Trinity College, Washington, DC


Assessing Sources/Writing a Literature Review

University of Washinton (Bothell ) Writing Center

A 3-part site: explains how to evaluate sources, make a research matrix, and write the review


Literature Review

University of Houston (Victoria) Writing Center


Self-editing Checklist for Literature Review

Kent Brorson, PhD, University of Minnesota-Duluth


The Literature Review

T. Budd, Saint Lawrence University


Writing a Literature Review

University of Canberra, Australia


Writing a Literature Review

Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia

A 6-part site, include helpful guide to verbs for research reports


Writing Up Research: Using the Literature

Asian Institute of Technology


Writing the Literature Review

University of Otago (New Zealand) Student Learning Center


Writing Literature Reviews

Temple University Writing Center


Writing the Literature Review

University of South Australia Online Learning Environment

Contact Us         Writing Center Home

© 2004 The Writing Center, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus
Updated August 2004