A Guide to Writing a Literature Review

When writing a literature review, there are several standard guidelines to follow and several accepted guidelines to consider. The first of these guidelines is to ensure that you have fully researched the text, novel or piece of literature that you are intending to review. A well presented review takes time to plan and reading up on the facts can prove not only useful, but reflects how well your review will read to both the professional and untrained reader.

Literature reviews are often the focus of a group, class or educational activity within school, college or university. Because of this, your guidelines will rely heavily on the person or professional setting you the task of writing a literature review. They may suggest that a fortnight is enough time to create your review, or that you are limited to 2000 words. Whatever the stipulation, here are a few simple tips to ensure that you gain the best result.

Approach all of your context from an unbiased perspective. When writing a literature review, it is important to maintain a professional tone throughout the entirety of the work. Favouring one aspect of a piece of text over another demonstrates a lack of empathy and when writing a documented review you should ensure to remain fair throughout.

Make sure that your work is concise from start to end. Straying from the topic is an easy way for the reader to lose focus. Ensure that you are to the point, factual and easy to follow throughout your entire review. This will not only benefit your reader, but demonstrate your clear understanding of the task at hand.

Ensure that you are coherent and easily understood. Try to avoid slang terms and abbreviations unless you clearly explain what the abbreviations stand for. Link sentences together and avoid starting and stopping on an array of angles within the space of a few paragraphs.