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Independent College: The Literature Review

Resources for planning and reflecting

What is a literature Review?

Literature Review

A literature review (or 'lit review') is often required for a large written body of work, including theses/dissertations but also can be requested by your lecturer for smaller written projects.

Importantly, this review acts as a foundation to a research project. It should include analysis and evaluation of current work and research in that area/topic, reference to relevant resources, while also identifying themes and research gaps that the composer of the review wants to address. It should demonstrate a writer's ability to comprehend, summarise, and synthesise research.

Composing a literature review can seem intimidating but there are always resources and approaches to breaking down this task!  Always ask your lecturer or project supervisor for tips when composing your review. Please use the below document to assist you in planning.

Further Resources

Consult the below training resources online

Systematic Searching - this is an interactive training course on how to search systematically for information that you might need for research, for a literature review, publication, or report. This is an excellent interactive training course for ANYONE conducting research

How to write a literature review - a thorough step-by-step guide on how to compose a lit review from Scribbr (reference management tool) with tips, resources, and a presentation.

SAGE Research Methods Project Planner - has a section dedicated to lit review composing. 

Consult the Library

Good luck with your literature review and remember there are several books you can take out on loan to guide you. 


Succeeding with your Literature Review, Paul Oliver, @ 001.4 OLI  

The Good Research Guide, Martyn Denscombe @ 300.72 DEN

Research methods: the basics,  Nicholas Walliman, @ 001.4 WAL