A literature review is a critical evaluation of the published research on a particular topic. It involves locating and analysing the research of other scholars in relation to your research topic. A literature review may be a stand-alone assignment or it may form part of a research proposal, research report, dissertation or published paper.
A broad range of works should be consulted for a literature review including primary, secondary and tertiary sources of information.
Primary sources, which include original research reported in journal articles and conference papers and some government reports, should comprise the majority of your sources.
Like an academic essay, a literature review has three main components: