Its purpose is to set research precedence and provide support for the study’s theory, methods, results, and/or conclusions.Not all research articles contain an explicit review of the literature, but many do, whether it is a discrete section or indistinguishable from the rest of the Introduction.
A literature review is an objective, concise, critical summary of published research literature relevant to a topic being researched in an article.
It does NOT reference and list all of the material you have cited in your paper.
Determine 2-3 important concepts (depending on the length of your article) that are discussed in the literature; take notes about all of the important aspects of this study relevant to your topic being reviewed.
For example, in a given study, perhaps some of the main concepts are X, Y, and Z.
When a literature review exists as part of an introduction to a study, it follows the structure of the Introduction itself and moves from the general to the specific—presenting the broadest background information about a topic first and then moving to specific studies that support your study, finally leading to your hypothesis statement.
The literature is often indistinguishable from the Introduction itself—the literature is INTRODUCING the background and defining the gaps your study aims to fill.
One way to conceive of a literature review is to think about writing it as you would build a bookshelf.
You don’t need to cut each piece by yourself from scratch.
It is not usually a linear process—authors often to go back and check the literature while reformulating their ideas.
This also means you will not be writing the literature review at any one time, but constantly working on it before, during, and after your study is complete.