How Do You Write a Literature Review for a Research Paper

A literature review is a list of scholarly journal sources that give an overview of where information that is being written about a certain topic. It is therefore a collection of the most relevant and important publications that have been together about the topic that is being researched about.

The main components of the literature review include a description of the publication, a summary providing the main points of the publication, a commentary about the gaps in the research, and an analysis of the publications’ main contributions to the topic under research.

In this article we shall discuss the steps to follow in writing your literature review:


The first point is for you to create a thesis statement that has a clear position on the argument you want to bring out in your research. If the study is scientific in nature, you should create a hypothesis that you will examine in your research. Also, if your plan is to provide a self-contained review of a certain topic, you should clearly state the purpose of the project.

To begin, ensure that you have defined the research paper’s main purpose which will form the main anchor position for the literature review.

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Undertake a study of written texts and materials that closely relate to the topic you are researching about and have been put together by reputable scholars. Once you make a determination of what the main consensus is on the particular topic based on what the experts say, pick this information and put it together to form part of your research. You should spend most of your time here so that you come up with the most relevant materials.


At this stage, create a summary of points that you have found important and connecting each of those important points to their sources and to the project’s main statement. This is the stage where you provide an establishment of the relevance of the discussion of the topic.

There are different ways in which you can approach how the body of the literature review will be organized. You can either choose to have the overall structure arranged in a thematic or a chronological manner. You can also combine these two strategies by using the thematic approach for the overall structure and having themes discussed in a chronological manner.


Your literature review should take the form of an academic text with an introduction, the main body, and the conclusion. The content for each of these sections will depend on the objective that you had set earlier.

The introduction section should illustrate the purpose and reason for the literature review. The body of the literature review can be divided into different sections to provide information about the theme and the main subject. You should write it in paragraphs that are well-structured while using transition words and with topic sentences to ensure that they draw connections, contracts, and comparisons so that your work presents a well thought through argument.