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How to Write Literature Review


Students who struggle with how to write literature reviews should first remember that the purpose of a literature review is to allow people to determine whether or not a work of literature is worth reading before they actually read it; therefore, the goal of a literature review is to analyze a work of literature fairly and accurately, providing a critique on its strengths and weaknesses. With that in mind, then, students who are learning how to write literature review papers should include the following four elements in their reviews: introduction, summary of the work of literature, analysis, and conclusion.

First, students who are learning how to write literature reviews should write an introduction, which may contain a witty or interesting quote, the credentials of the author of the work of literature, and the purpose of the work of literature.

Second, literature reviews should contain a brief summary of the work of literature. In this section, the student should avoid including minor details; instead, the summary should offer a very short synopsis of the major, overarching points of the work.

Third, students who are learning how to write literature review papers should offer an analysis of the work of literature. In this section, students may make general critiques of the work, or they may focus on details of the work that show its strengths or weaknesses. A good review contains a blend of critique on major points and an analysis of some of the more compelling minor details. The key for students who are learning how to write literature reviews is that they must couple each assertion with evidence, whether from the text itself or from outside research sources that confirm or deny the text's content.

Finally, literature reviews should contain a conclusion that briefly synopsizes the content of the review. The conclusion should focus its attention on the analysis portion of the review, mentioning each point in a phrase or two, and should then make a statement about the value of the book for its intended readers.


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