How to write a literature review?

+96 votes
asked Jun 7, 2015 in Education by ABKJanna6805 (390 points)
In my English lit class, I need to write a literature review about latest studies on a famous novel. My teacher wants me to follow all kinds of different rules, which are confusing because I’ve never done one before. And I have read the book from front to back, but I don’t know where to start. How do I write a literature review?

2 Answers

+11 votes
answered Jul 5, 2015 by EfrainLowman (360 points)
The first step to write a literature review is to choose the focus of interest. You cannot just put everything that has ever been written about a novel all together. Choose a theme or conflict within the novel that interests you. Analyze this theme with supporting evidence, such as examples from the book, real life or both.

Once you have chosen the topic, create at least three subtopics. For instance, if your topic is the effect of violence on children, as it relates to the novel, your three subtopics could be the consequences that have resulted from children being exposed to violence, for example, how the abused children started changing their personalities and behaving patterns. The topic is the most important part of the review, so you want to choose it wisely.

The next step is to do your research at an academic level. Your school has a library with a database that allows you to search for academic journals, reports and research papers. You should be able to find as many professional sources as possible for your review.

A good rule is to synthesize what you have read regarding a certain topic into your own words in a more concise way. A literature review that is too long takes the reader’s focus off your own study. Also, too many verbatim quotes will put you at the risk of plagiarism, even if they are in the literature review section.
commented Jul 12, 2015 by BryantPlate (160 points)
Great answer to how to write a literature review!
+5 votes
answered Aug 7, 2015 by kanika (700 points)
When you are writing a literature review, you are writing a detailed critical analysis. You could write about a book, short story or anything that classifies as literature. A college student writes a literature review in his/her thesis at an undergraduate or postgraduate level with a list of academic references. If you are writing for publication, you must follow the established format of academic writing with an introduction, body and conclusion.

To write a review in your case, start by creating a statement, which is your specific thought about this book in a few sentences. The same way you write an essay, write this review. No matter what you write, make sure you follow a formal tone of writing. Use complete sentences and include evidence for each point you make. This evidence consists of examples taken from the book itself. At the end of the review, write a conclusion that is a summary of all the points you have made.
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