A literature review is:
- a critical review of previous relevant research completed in the area of interest
- a survey of what has been published on a particular topic by scholars and researchers, which includes a description and critical evaluation and analysis.
- focused on a particular question or area of research.
- a method to find out if there are disagreements in the area of research
- a method used to identify the state of the research on a topic and identify gaps for additional study (especially for thesis and dissertation writing)
- a method to find out who the "major players" or authors are on the topic
A literature review is NOT:
- a summary of article content
- a book review
- an annotated bibliography