How to Write Academic Literature Reviews

The main objective of literature review is to make your argument strong by showing that you have read a lot about that subject without any confusion. It can be a separate file or you can also attach this review with your thesis.

Remember that your literature review will not simply quote the other authors rather you will have to make clear what are the other theories about this particular topic and what is it that you are introducing.

Though, it is detailed work which is difficult to summarise in few words but you can do it if you know the basic techniques of literature review.


  • 1

    You will divide your analysis in different parts so that it is easy to go over. Normally, authors divide their review in three sections, the introduction, the body and the conclusion. However, you may do experiments with the standard format to make it more interesting and noticeable.

  • 2

    In the introductory section, you will have to give a brief introduction of your topic and thesis. Basically, it is to inform the reader that what kind of opinion he is going to receive in the next few pages. Do not disclose everything in the first pages.

  • 3

    After going through the introduction, you will give details of your theory in the main body of literature review. However, you must discuss the author’s other work before unfolding your thesis. This is to place your study in an historical perspective. Moreover, this will also help the reader to relate your study to previous findings.

  • 4

    Now, when you have provided a detailed analysis about the topic, you will summarise your thesis in the concluding part. You must cover all the major points to convey your message effectively.

  • 5

    You should take another look on your literature review and make sure that you have compared other authors’ views on this topic. You should also ensure that you have mentioned a few authors who are in agreement with you. Try to explain things in your own words even if you are quoting other writers.

  • 6

    Make sure that your reader can differentiate between two theories after reading your literature review. This can be done by relating your theory to previous studies. Highlight those areas in which you have a difference of opinion.

  • 7

    Ask yourself if you have fulfilled the purpose of literature review. If you are satisfied then submit along with your thesis.

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