Literature Review Writing

Literature Review Writing

A literature review is a type of writing which involves a scholarly review article which includes learning and substantive findings as theoretical and methodological contributions on a specific topic.

Literature review works on subordinate sources which are obviously not original. The review is like an experiment based on an already existing text. The reviews are mostly associated with academic-oriented literature which is only found in academic journals. These reviews are not the book reviews published in the same publication. These reviews are based on research in every academic field. A literature review which is narrow in scope is recognized in the category of peer-reviewed journal because it is presenting new research in the current study available to give the reader proper context. Such cases usually precede the methodology and results of the work.

Writing a literature review is an important part of Literature graduation and post-graduation. In this, the student must prepare a presentation of the literature work in the form of a thesis, dissertation, journal article, etc. Literature reviews are also made at the time of the research proposal or prospectus.


Writing a literature review is the research process. When an individual starts writing a literature review, he/she has to study the background of the work they are working on, and this background also involves the research existing already on the text (one is working on ) But there are many different terms in literature review which can make it difficult. The terms are sometimes used interchangeably. these terms are not clear and conscious to the mind of the writer. Thus, we have explained the terms of writing a literature review. There are three types to the same. the types of literature reviews are thus important to understand.

  1. Systematic Reviews –

An organization of present text or studies and investigating upon it with a focus to attain certain research. this type of review is made by including only quantitative studies but there are some sources which give ideas about including quantitative and qualitative studies. Such reviews have an aim to subdue potential prejudices by adopting a strict process. time - Frame of the literature work (studies published between 2007 and 2016) is referred so that the relevant studies in that time should be evaluated with their validity. the writer's findings and data are then employed in the writing.

  1. Metanalysis –

Metanalysis is the type of literature review which have an organized format. It adopts a combination of researches on many scientific studies and statistical analyzations for them. The system of the same is based on a method is based on a proof which has the same types of studies including a similar truth. But all these most have a range of mistakes involved in it.  thus, statistic methods and other studies help to guide the writer to a higher level of review writing.

Studies which go well with the research question must be rectified. one must remember to apply the studies which are made by employing quantitative methods and designs with a selection of random controlled trials. It is very significant for meta-analysis studies to have research like the topic, hypothesis design, so they can be rightly compared with one another. once it has come to your knowledge that the studies are now well synthesized, codified and recorded into a quantitative database for statistical analysis then the result of metanalysis will tell us the efficacy of a specific approach or treatment.

the hierarchy of reviews can be easily identified in this type of literature review. Editors always love publishing a meta-analysis review article, because such things have proper citations and more details about the subject

  1. Integrative Review

Integrated Reviews are not that much known in the list of literature reviews because it is not as much as mentioned as other types. Although many people consider this type as the most comprehensive review which employs all the methodological practices of writing. Integrated reviews have studies which are not well experimented, and many times not exterminated at all. It contains all the theoretical literature thus it is called interrogative. Because of this, it is also termed as Inclusive Literature Review. This type is adopted for -

  • Defining concepts
  • Analyzing
  • Reviewing theories

The following six spheres of work are employed for an integrated review.

  1. Cooking the guiding question which will term the studies to be included.
  2. Hunting or sampling the different data on literature. This includes all relevant as well as representative sample studies which deal with the subject.
  3. Critical Analysis of the adopted studies is mandatory in the review. The articles incorporated are used rigorously for characterization in the review.
  4. The results are discussed by comparing data of different articles and identifying the gap in knowledge and information. Moreover, it is examined that if the article is providing the right direction towards the future or not.
  5. Presentation of the integrative review takes by clearly reading it out for the reader using tables, graphs, charts, etc.

We can say that systematic and interrogative types of literature review writing are similar, but it is important for a student to understand the difference between both. It is considered that an interrogative type is just a form of a systematic review. 

We can also claim that the meta-analysis and integrative review are the only organized literature review types. Being systematic in meta-analysis is important whereas systematic review needs no meta-analysis.

Both have them have their focus on quantitative studies, integrative review which incorporates a broader sphere of research.


Although it may seem that writing a literature review is very easy and one just must write the critical points which he felt. But it is not as easy as it looks. There are many problems which a literature student might face while writing a literature review. Some of them are listed below –

  1. Students do not have any knowledge of the background of that literary work, which makes the review look unprofessional.
  2. Students do not know relevant and related literature with their piece of literature. It is important to cite everything related to the literature work. Not knowing them makes the students earn fewer grades.
  3. For example, if the student is working on a literature review of Khalid Hussain’s Thousand Splendid Miles than reading of one that very works would not be fruitful, to provide a detailed literature review student should have read all the novels written by Hussain. This is not as obvious as it looks.
  4. Students get confused about the type of Literature writing format. They are not able to adopt the format totally and face difficulties in putting their words and feeling in the prescribed pattern.
  5. Organizing the review grammatically and systematically is an important aspect of literature review writing. If your review is not systematic than it will simply not attain good marks.

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