literature review owl purdue


A literature review is a critical analysis of published research on a specific topic. It serves to provide an overview of current knowledge and research gaps, as well as to establish the significance of a research study. The Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) provides guidelines for writing a literature review, including:

1. Identify your research question or thesis statement: Before conducting a literature review, it is important to have a clear research question or thesis statement in mind. This will help guide your search for relevant literature.

2. Search for relevant sources: Use academic databases, journals, books, and other sources to find relevant literature on your topic. Make sure to use keywords and search terms that are specific to your research question.

3. Evaluate and analyze the literature: As you review the literature, critically evaluate each source in terms of its methodology, findings, and relevance to your research question. Identify key themes, trends, and gaps in the existing literature.

4. Organize your literature review: Structure your literature review in a coherent and logical manner. You may choose to organize it chronologically, thematically, or by methodology, depending on the nature of your research question.

5. Write your literature review: Begin your literature review with an introduction that provides context for your research question and outlines the scope of the review. In the body of the review, summarize and analyze the key findings and themes from the literature. Conclude by discussing the implications of the literature for your research.

6. Cite your sources: Make sure to properly cite all sources used in your literature review using a consistent citation style, such as APA or MLA.

Overall, a literature review is a critical component of academic research and writing, as it demonstrates your understanding of the existing literature on a topic and helps to situate your research within the broader scholarly conversation. By following the guidelines provided by the Purdue OWL, you can effectively write a literature review that is well-structured, thorough, and persuasive.

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literature review owl purdue

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