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Literature Review: Introduction

This guide will help you learn what a literature review is and how to write one for your class.

Literature Review

What is a Literature Review?

Literature reviews review the published literature on a particular topic. The purposes of a literature review are to:

  • Bring readers up-to-date on current research
  • Situate your research in the existing knowledge base
  • Summarize and synthesize the critical knowledge on the topic
  • Discuss gaps in the knowledge and show how your research addresses these gaps or contributes to debate about the topic

There are seven steps to producing a good literature review:

Steps to Producing a Literature Review

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A literature review should show the reader:

  • You have in-depth knowledge of your topic.
  • You understand where your topic fits into the research and how it adds to existing knowledge.

Contact the Madonna University Writing Center or look at the Writing Center's video presentation and handout on literature reviews if you need help writing your literature review!