A literature review is a discussion on any published article on a particular subject. A literature review must surely contain a summary of what has been read, but it also something more than that. It also involves re-organization and reshuffling of the information that you have read. Sometimes, even a new interpretation can be provided and the review can evaluate the article sources and provide relevant advice regarding it. An important aspect to focus on while writing a literature review is to make a critical analysis of the various works. Though there are certain broad guidelines, the field of study will also decide the type of review, as each field might have its own individual approach.
It is important to write in the institutions style and so you must be aware of the guidelines regarding font and margins and also with regard to quotations and any other citations that you may make. The topic that you are reviewing should not be too general and you can go through the reviews that have already been written on that particular topic. When making a search for your topic, try to make a note of classic cases and theories in your field, so that it can be used as a framework for your literature review. All references from different databases must be brought into your reference works account.
After locating the articles that you wish to review, you can read the abstract and get a general overview of the articles and make notes or records. Select a suitable format for taking the notes and make definitions of important terms. Make a note of significant statistics to be incorporated in your review. You can also select quotes that you wish to incorporate in the literature review. If you are using the exact words, you should cite the page reference.
Your review should be more of an evaluation or an analysis rather than a mere description of the articles. Remain focused on the topic and select articles that are well related to the topic you have chosen. A literature review must be different from a research paper, as it is only a synthesis of others’ arguments and does not contain any other new contributions.