Literature Review Tips: 5 Steps to Outstanding Results

When we write a literature review, we have to present a critical summary of various published works on the needed topic. Conducting a literature review is one of the essential steps for students in publication. When a student has to write such an assignment for the first time, it may look difficult due to lack of experience. That is why many students look for help writing a literature review. You should stay up to date with the literature, which is an essential skill throughout a researcher’s career.

When you know how to write a proper literature review, you will benefit in many other ways. A literature review is a part of a scientific manuscript usually submitted for publication to a magazine or journal.

Now we are going to learn the most essential five steps to write the best literature review. Continue to read below.


5 Steps to present a professional literature review

Step #1: Focus on the structure, content, and style

There is no need to feel overwhelmed by such an assignment. No one asks you to cover everything. Your task is to show the way how you understand what has been published on your topic. You should try to convey the information to your audience in an exciting way. If you are a perfectionist, the process of synthesizing all the reading into a single literature review can be daunting. Even professional writers can’t create well-structured sentences on the first try. You should communicate the ideas and polish their work.

Writing a literature review is like constructing a house. You must start with the foundation before adding all the details. First, write the structure, then add content, and work on the style at the very end. It is crucial to make an outline, which will include a thesis and basic contours of ideas and your research.

Particular attention should be paid to the content of your literature review. Make sure that your inspection goes through several stages of drafts before you are ready to present it to your professor or other readers. Do not forget to review your diction, grammar, and prose.


Step #2: Do not leave your writing for the last day

A literature review is all about research. Many students spend enough time to read and to do research for their literature review, but they pull their time actually to start writing it. Start writing the moment you start your research. Divide the writing into little portions. Set the main goals, take notes while reading, and go over those notes all the time. Never put your writing off until you are ready. Just accept that it is impossible to cover everything. It will be enough if you provide consistent arguments. At this stage, do not bother too much about your chronological order. You will organize it during the revision process.


Step #3: Defining the scope

Some students think that to start their research, they need to read a lot of articles, or that a literature review must encompass many aspects of the literature on your topic. If you do too much exploration, it will not make the literature review more effective. Instead of this, you should focus on primary sources. The key is to analyze what you have found in your focused analysis. Your review should include a clear and well-defined scope. We recommend you to examine about 50 articles thoroughly. You can consist of some viewpoints to demonstrate your grasp of the topic. Don’t forget about relevant citations.


Step #4: Involve a fresh pair of eyes

Even professional writers have some strengths and weaknesses. You will polish your literature review with the help of your friends, who can look over over it during the revising process. You can ask your thesis supervisor for a piece of advice on how to organize your review outline better. Do not feel shy to ask questions. Such feedback is precious if you really want to master your writing skills. You can consult more experienced college mates. Any help is much appreciated.


Step #5: Add some critical thinking

Many students make a common mistake when they write literature reviews for the first time: they include too much information, without including synthesis. It is important to include critical thinking. A literature review is not only a summary of what you have read. You can make your review stronger by adding analysis, which will unite different sources of information. You can include suggestions or predictions.



Writing a literature review is not a problem if you are passionate about reading. Students who love literature will find a way to express their thoughts on specific topics. Follow our recommendations to avoid common mistakes. Remember that literature is not math. So use a poetic way of writing and try to sound unique and creative.


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