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The Literature Review
Writing Resource Center, CSU Bakersfield

What is a literature review?
A literature review presents an overview of a particular topic for which a
large body of research and scholarship
already exists.

What is the purpose of literature review?

What should a literature
review look like?
The format of a literature review will
vary according to the discipline and
assignment for which it is written.
The literature review can be a
standalone assignment, a section of
a research paper, or a chapter in a
thesis or dissertation.

The purpose of a literature review
is to critically assess the existing
body of a research in a particular
area through summary, comparison, and evaluation of the published research studies.

How long does my literature
review need to be?

Which disciplines use literature
reviews?
Literature reviews are used in various academic disciplines. They are often used in the
social sciences for classes such as Psychology
and Sociology, in the sciences su