Updated on: 8th Jun 2022

How to Write a Literature Review        

Writing a literature review section requires you to search for sources for gathering information about specific problems. undergraduate or Masters students from the Universities of Singapore feel hard to writing a literature review. In this article, our professional research paper team is trying to explain to students the procedure of conducting a literature review.

A literature review can be referred to as an investigation performs by the researcher for the identification of relevant sources in order to gather information about a specific issue. It is a review of the literature section in research which introduces a current knowledge. The main purpose of the literature review is to do an evaluation of the present stage of the investigation. You need to write a sample of literature review in the research proposal.

How to Write a Literature Review       

Writing a Literature review for research can be helpful in relation to the identification of relevant hypotheses, techniques and addressing the gap in existing studies.

The review of literature section in research has great significance as:

It enables you to showcase that you have knowledge about the issue or subject. By writing a literature review you will be able to develop a hypothesis and could select the best techniques for conducting research. The literature review section in research provides you with the chance to position yourself in the list of theorists and researchers. It allows you to address the knowledge gap.

Writing a literature review includes accumulation, evaluation and analysis of existing publications related to the topic of your investigation. A specific procedure of writing a literature review for research includes following steps these are:

  1. Finding relevant literature
  2. Evaluation of sources
  3. Identification of debates
  4. Preparation of structure
  5. Writing literature Review

A Quality of good literature review is that it consists of detail analysis and critical evaluation of the state of knowledge on the subject.

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How to write a literature review?

The procedure of writing Literature Review includes the 5 steps these are:

Step 1: Searching for relevant literature

Before beginning to find sources for gathering information, you should clearly define the topic.  It is very much important for you to search only those sources which are relevant to your topic.  You can search for relevant literature by utilizing keywords. You for before starting to search literature need to first prepare a list of keywords relevant to the research questions and topic. Here, is some sources from where you can collect information related to different subjects these databases are:

  • Google Scholar
  • Inspec
  • Medline (biomedicine and life sciences)
  • Project Muse (Social science and humanities)

You need to read abstracts for making sure that the journal which you are using is relevant to your field. When you find a single journal or article relevant to your topic then in such a case you should check the bibliography, as this will help you in finding other appropriate sources.

You should also prepare a note of recurring citations as this technique will provide you an ease in the identification of most relevant sources. By making the notes of recurring citations you will be able to address the article which is very much important for your field.

Step 2: Evaluation of sources

You can’t select all the sources therefore selection of an appropriate source is very much essential. It is very much important for you to consider issues, aim, conclusion, results, etc. while making the choice of a specific source. After making the selection of a suitable source, you should ensure that it is creditable.

The scope of the literature review is completely based on the topic. In the science research field you need to include only recent literature. In the context of the history field you need to include detail background information. Such as you need to define the change which has taken place over a period of time. It is also very crucial for you to keep tracking sources of literature review along with citations which is helpful in relation to avoiding plagiarism. You can prepare annotated bibliography where you can include a complete citation of sources from where information has been collected.

Step 3: Identification of debates

It is very much essential for you to develop an understanding of different sources which will help in organizing arguments in the literature review section of the research paper. On the basis of notes and reading, you can analyze the following such as:

  • Trends in theory: There is a great requirement for analyzing the significance of different theories,
  • Themes: You should address questions or concepts that recur across the literature.
  • Debates: You need to search for those journals or articles which consist of debate or argument related to the topic.
  • Gaps: It is important for you to identify the gap in the existing literature. You through detail analysis of existing literature can easily identify the weaknesses of existing research on the topic.
  • Pivotal publications: You should address such theory which has brought changes in the direction of the field.

Step 4: Preparation of structure for literature review

There are a number of techniques that you can apply for organizing the main body of the literature review. Before starting to write a literature review you need to have a basic idea about the writing procedure.  The different ways which you can utilize for organizing the main body of the literature review include:

  • Chronological: It is considered being as one of the best approaches which is very much essential for tracing the development of the topic. If in case you are using a chronological approach then you should not arrange sources in sequence.

You should take initiatives for analyzing patterns and debates which have to change the direction of fields. It is also very essential for you to provide interpretation and justification for changes in the field.

  • Thematic: If in case you have identified any identify any key theme then you can structure your literature review section into subcategories in such a way that it addresses various aspects of the topic.

For example: If you are writing a literature review on inequalities in migrant health outcome then the different themes which you can create are language barriers, healthcare policy, cultural attitude, etc.

  • Methodological: If you have utilized different sources for gathering information and in sources and different methods has been utilized for data collection the in such case you should compare the results and conclusions.

Literature review methodological structure: Example

  • You should analyze the results of Qualitative and Quantitative research.
  • It is very much important for you to analyze the way topic approach by theoretical versus empirical literature review.
  • Then after that you need to categorize literature into different categories such as history, sociology, etc.
  • Theoretical: The literature review section in research is considered to be the basis for a theoretical framework.  While writing a review of the literature section in research you can have a discussion on different theories. You can also include arguments for demonstrating the relevancy of research.  You can also combine different theoretical concepts for creating a framework for research.

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 Step 5: Writing Literature Review

It is a final step when you can finally start writing the literature review section for research. The structure of the literature review section for research includes the following components are Introduction, main body and conclusion. Another thing which you can include in the literature review section is completely based on the objective of writing a review of the literature.

  • Introduction to Literature review

“If in case, you intend to write a literature review for research, then you need to repeat issue and require summarizing scholarly articles.

  • Main body

Considering the length of the research paper you should categories the main body of literature review in subsections. You can utilize subheadings for every theme. There are few tips which you can utilize for writing the main body part of the literature review sections these are:

1. Summaries and synthesis: here, it is important for you to provide a summary of key points taken from different sources and integrate them.

2. Analysation and interpretation: Rather than just paraphrasing the article written by other researchers or authors you should include your own perspective. You need to discuss the importance of research findings in the context of the entire literature.

3. Critical evaluation: You should mention the strength and limitations of every source.

4. Writing well-structured paragraphs: You can utilize transitions and topic sentences, as this will help you in developing the connection between different paragraphs.


  • In this part of the literature review section of research you need to provide a summary of key findings and concentrate on the importance of the same.  It is part of the literature review where you need to demonstrate the way research addresses gaps and contributes new knowledge.
  • The last step is publishing a literature review. Before publishing a literature review you should first review and complete the editing work. It has been concluded from the above that writing the literature review is very much crucial as it will help you in increasing your knowledge about the topic. Another thing that has been found is that the literature review includes analysis and synthesis of existing research.

Author Bio:

Laura Tan

I am an academic writer since 2003 and associated with Singapore Assignment Help. I have expertise in making dissertation proposal. Till now i helped more than 2000 Singaporean and Malaysian Students in completing their masters dissertations thesis and other academic papers.