Research Methods in Social Science (Soc260)

The Information Cycle

Primary, Secondary, or Teriary

What is literature review?


Like an annotated bibliography, a literature review is a paper or section of a paper that reviews what's already been published on your research topic.

Unlike an annotated bibliography, a literature review is written in a standard paper format, with citations grouped together on the last page.


Literature review: a conversation

Some people think of literature review as being like a party where there are lots of conversations happening at once.

Here's a 2-minute video illustrating this metaphor:

Your literature review is an overview of all the conversations going on at the party, highlighting where guests agree and disagree, and what questions are still unanswered.

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