How to Create a Literature Review Outline

Writing a literature review is a tough work as you have to go through it very carefully in order to cover up all the ideas and points which have been discussed by the author. You can make your work really easy by preparing an outline for your literature review.

The outline is divided into parts (sections or chapters) which make it easy to organise your literature review. It will work as your guide in writing the literature review. You can also make amendments in it at any time according to your requirements in order to arrange your review in a better way.


  • 1

    First, you need to develop a general idea about the literature for which you are going to write a review. It will be better if you read it thoroughly at least for one time which will make it easy for you to create an outline for the review.

  • 2

    You have to start your outline with an introduction. The introduction should be limited to one sentence only which will express the basic idea of the literature review. In addition, it will address the idea that why you have pursued to write a review for that particular literature. You can label it as ‘Section 1’.

  • 3

    Now, you have to prepare the outline for the first section of the literature. You can start with the main idea which supports your notion. You can write a complete prose form of it or you can only pursue with the shorthand at this point in time. Label this part as ‘Section 2’.

  • 4

    Then, you need to create at least one point which will support the idea and can label it as ‘Section 2.1’. If you have included multiple ideas you label it as ‘Section 2.2, Section 2.3, Section 2.4...’.

  • 5

    After that, you will have to establish next major idea which you will explain while writing your review. You can label it as ‘Section 3’. In addition, if you have some any supporting ideas you can also include them under the subsections.

  • 6

    You can continue to create sections of the outline until you have discussed all the ideas of the literature. In the end, you have to include the concluding section in your outline. In the conclusion, you will have to summarise your literature review.