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Literature Reviews: Home

What Is A Literature Review?

A qualitative summary of the evidence on a general topic or specific question using informal or subjective methods to collect and interpret studies. 

A literature review helps the author:

  • Understand the scope, history, and present state of knowledge of a specific topic
  • Understand application of research concepts such as statistical tests and methodological choices
  • Create a research project that complements the existing research or fills in gaps
  • Identify sources of information or data that might be useful to you

A literature review helps the reader:

  • Understand how your research project fits into the existing knowledge and research in a field
  • Understand that a topic is important/relevant to the world
  • Evaluate the state of research on the topic.

Literature Review Resources


Based on a guide created by Amy Chatfield, Norris Medical Library, University of Southern California.

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