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This Course Guide has been designed to assist you in research and synthetic writing as you prepare to write your literature review.
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A literature review is not the same as a research paper. Key Points to Consider:
The purpose of a literature review is to report the current state of the topic. Literature reviewed should be relatively current (generally 5-10 years old).
Organize your paper according to themes. It may be helpful to make each theme a subheading in your paper. Your subheadings should be broad enough so that you can bring multiple articles into the discussion.
All works cited must be both in the text of the literature review and the bibliography
Avoid passive voice (ex: It was found that...); Use active voice ("Smith (2013) reported that...")
Report what the literature says, not what you think
The point of a literature review is to synthesize the research of others without making a new argument or scholarly contribution.
A literature review is also not an annotated bibliography. You should not write about each study you are reviewing in turn-- instead write synthetically to highlight the current state of the literature.