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Syracuse University Libraries

Health Psychology Literature Reviews: Home

What is a Literature Review?

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

Tutorials for Composing a Literature Review