A Literature Review surveys scholarly source materials that are relevant to a person's research thesis/problem and/or a particular issue or theory. It also provides a critical analysis that summarizes and synthesizes the source materials while also demonstrating how a person's research pertains to or fits within the larger discipline of study.
The author of a literature review first determines a question about existing research. At a basic level, the author wants to know what has been written on a particular research topic. After formulating a question, the author sets out to find the relevant research. For a traditional literature review, it is not necessary that the author find everything written on a particular topic. Instead, the author will select a representative sample of articles, and write a literature review that explains and examines the scope of research that exists on this topic.
Literature Reviews vary from discipline to discipline as well as across assignments, but generally a good literature review is designed to help you answer 2 questions:
Good literature reviews also: