How to Write a Literature Review? – Review Paper Format

Do you want to know How to Write a Literature Review? If so, you must first know that a review paper is a type of academic writing that provides a critical evaluation of previously published research on a particular topic. Review papers are typically organized around a single central thesis or argument, and they often make use of secondary sources in order to support their claims.

How to Write a Literature Review? | Guide, Examples, & Templates

How to Write a Literature Review?


The body of a literature review must be well organized and should include the following sections:

  1. Introduction:

The introduction should provide an overview of the main points to be covered in the body of the paper. It should also explain why you are conducting a literature review and how it will benefit your research project.

  1. Methods:

The methods section should describe how you searched for relevant literature and how you evaluated its quality. This is important so that readers can assess the reliability of your findings.

  1. Results:

The results section should present a summary of the literature you reviewed. It is important to note the similarities and differences among the studies that you considered in your review.

  1. Discussion:

The discussion should provide an evaluation of the results you found, as well as your personal reaction to them.

  1. Conclusion:

The conclusion should summarize the key points of your findings. This is also a good place to discuss any limitations of your review.

  1. References:

Make sure to include references at the end of each main section and in the reference list at the end of the paper.

Who Reads Literature Reviews?

Generally, literature reviews are read by academics, researchers, and students who are looking for an overview of the current state of knowledge on a particular topic. It is a type of paper that reviews published information in a particular subject area. Researchers use literature reviews to gain a better understanding of the existing body of work on a topic and to identify gaps in knowledge. They are an important part of the research process and are often published as journal articles.

Purpose of a Literature Review:

A literature review has several purposes. First, it allows you to see what other scholars have already said about your topic. This can help you to narrow your focus, choose a research question, and develop a hypothesis. Second, it can help you to justify your research by showing that there is a gap in the existing research. Finally, it can help you critically evaluate the existing research on your topic.

Format of a Literature Review:

The format of a literature review varies depending on the journal, but they typically include an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. The introduction provides an overview of the topic and states the purpose of the review. The body discusses relevant research findings in detail. The conclusion summarizes the main points of the review and discusses future directions for research.

What Goes into a Literature Review?

A literature review is not just a list of all the sources you have read. It is important to critically evaluate the sources and to synthesize them into a coherent overview of the current state of knowledge. To do this, you need to:

  1. Identify the main themes and trends in the existing literature
  2. Critically evaluate the sources
  3. Synthesize the information into a coherent overview
  4. Make a clear statement of the main conclusions that can be drawn from the literature review
  5. Make recommendations for future research and study.
  6. Outline your own research proposal.

Criteria for Inclusion:

There is no one perfect way to format a literature review, but there are some general criteria that can help you determine whether your paper is successful. First, a good literature review will have a clear and concise structure. It should be organized around a central topic or theme, and it should flow logically from one point to the next. Second, a good literature review will be critical and evaluative, not just a summary of the literature. You should critically analyze the research you are reviewing, and highlight both its strengths and weaknesses. Finally, a good literature review will be well-written and free of errors. Be sure to proofread your paper carefully before submitting it for evaluation.

Types of Sources:

There are generally four types of sources that are used in a literature review:

  1. Primary sources are original research papers that present new theories, analyses, or findings. These are the most important sources for your review, as they provide first-hand evidence of the topic under study.
  2. Secondary sources interpret or analyze primary sources. These can be helpful in placing the research in context and identifying gaps in the literature.
  3. Tertiary sources synthesize or review secondary and primary sources. These can be helpful in getting an overview of the literature on a topic, but should not be relied on too heavily as they may not be up-to-date with the latest research.
  4. Grey literature includes unpublished reports, working papers, conference proceedings, and other materials that may not be easily accessible.

How Do I Write a Literature Review?

To write a literature review, you will need to first find relevant sources of information on your topic. Once you have found these sources, you will need to read them and take notes. After reading and taking notes on your sources, you will need to organize your thoughts and develop an argument about the current state of knowledge on your topic.

When writing your literature review, you should:

  • Summarize the main points of each source
  • Critique the sources (e.g. Was this source useful for my research? Why or why not?)
  • Evaluate the sources (e.g. Was this source credible and reliable? Why or why not?)
  • Cite the sources you used directly in your essay (e.g. “According to Smith, et al. (2022), __________.)
  • Use your sources to support the main points of your argument.
  • Cite all of your sources correctly and according to the style guidelines for APA, MLA, or whichever style guide you are using.

Structure of the Paper:

There are many different ways to structure a paper. The most important thing is to make sure that the paper is easy to follow and makes sense. A good way to do this is to start with an outline.

An outline will help you organize your thoughts and make sure that you cover all of the important points that you want to make. It is also a good idea to have a few different people read your paper before you submit it. This will help you catch any errors or areas where your paper could be improved.

Once you have a general structure for your paper, it is time to start writing. Start by introducing your topic and giving some background information on why it is important. Then, move on to discussing the different points that you want to make. Be sure to back up your points with evidence from reliable sources.

The Introductory Paragraph:

The introductory paragraph of your literature review paper should briefly summarize the main points of your paper. It should also provide an overview of the structure of your paper. In addition, it should be followed by a more detailed discussion of each point in your paper. The first point in your paper should be a brief statement of the research problem you are addressing. The second point should be a summary of the key points from your literature review that support your thesis statement. Then, the third point should summarize the main points of your argument.

Body Paragraphs:

Most papers will have three body paragraphs. Each body paragraph will discuss a different point that supports your thesis. Your body paragraphs should be organized so that the strongest points come first.

You will want to start each body paragraph with a topic sentence. This sentence should state the main point of the paragraph and introduce the supporting evidence you will be using. The rest of the paragraph should be used to develop this point further. Be sure to use transitions between paragraphs so that your paper flows smoothly.

Conclusion Paragraph:

In a review paper, the conclusion paragraph summarizes the key points of the paper and highlights the implications for future research. This is your last chance to make a strong impression on the reader, so make sure to summarize your key points clearly and concisely. Keep in mind that the conclusion is not simply a rehashing of your main points, but rather a synthesis of the most important insights from your paper.

Conclusion of How to Write a Literature Review:

In order to write a successful review paper, it is important to understand the structure and purpose of this type of writing, as well as the specific requirements of your assignment. The first step in writing a review paper is to read and analyze the existing literature on your chosen topic. This will help you to identify the key arguments and ideas that have already been proposed, as well as any gaps in the existing research. Once you have a good understanding of the existing literature, you can begin to formulate your own thesis or argument.