Literature Review

Literature Review is an essay format that almost every Chinese student will experience, and its writing difficulty is no less than that of a paper. At the same time, Literature Review is also a very important part of services provided by Your Writing Help. Today we will give you a detailed introduction to the writing skills of British papers.

This article will introduce the writing method of literature review from the following aspects:

  • Literature Review’s definition
  • Literature Review’s Purpose
  • How to Write Literature Review
  • Key Notes

What Is a Literature Review?

Any academic research must build on the foundation of predecessors and abide by academic traditions, not groundless. Literature Review is after determination and selection of topic selection. In addition, it is on the basis of extensive reading and understanding of the relevant literature that allows topic selection. Furthermore, it also comprises of the current research status, main academic views, existing problems, and development prospects of the field. Literature review also integrates, analyze, summarize and comment, and put forward your own opinions and research ideas.  

One “comprehensive” and one “description” are indispensable. “Summary” is a comprehensive analysis and collation. Furthermore, “Summary” is to narrate and comment on the viewpoints and conclusions of the literature. Therefore, Literature Review does not simply summarize the literature, but uses the form of critical discussion to provide insights and discuss with oneself. Combine the research to be conducted.

An excellent literature review should:

  • Introduce the background knowledge of the field and summarize the core content of the literature related to your research topic
  • Compare and contrast the opinions of different authors on the same issue
  • Highlight exemplary research
  • Highlight the flaws or gaps in the research
  • Explain how previous research is related to your research

Why Write Literature Review?

A good literature review can point out the controversial areas of your research topic. Moreover, it can help you more specifically identify areas that require further research.

The collection of documents can help you become more familiar with the search methods and accumulation of scientific documents. In addition, it can also expand your knowledge. Through the writing of Literature Review, you can improve your comprehensive ability of inductive analysis and help improve your scientific research ability.

The Literature Review in the British graduate thesis can provide a definition for the problem you are researching. Furthermore, it can limit the problem to a reasonable range. At the same time, it can familiarize you with the research done by the predecessors on the topic and avoid duplication of work. Literature Review also has a guiding role in the research methods of graduation thesis and can provide you with ideas. Finally, Literature Review can also help you point out the direction of future research. Therefore, it can link your findings with previous findings and guide further research.

How to Write Literature Review?

Topic Selection

The first step in writing a Literature Review is to choose a topic that you are very familiar with and interested in. For students who are writing graduate thesis in the UK, at this stage, the topic of the thesis should have been determined. But Literature Review may also appear as a separate assignment. In this case, you need to pay attention when choosing a topic, choose a topic that is interesting and useful to your target readers, and make sure that the field is relatively complete and there is enough literature for your evaluation.

Data Collection

The second step is to collect academic materials, including academic articles, books, conference papers, etc. The quality of reference documents directly determines the value of the literature review, so when selecting documents, you need to pay attention to the representativeness and reliability of the selected materials.

Sorting Collected Data

After collecting the academic materials, you need to sort out the literature. We recommend that you use mind maps to identify the intersections of different studies and help you filter out the most useful articles. At the same time, when sorting out the literature, we highly recommend that you make a reading note to extract the important points and expositions of the literature you read. You can use different colors to distinguish your views from those of others. In this way, one step at a time, when the actual writing begins, a large amount of “dry goods” has been accumulated to ensure the smooth progress of the entire writing process.


The fourth step is to start writing. First, use a clear and short introduction to explain the outline of the review, including the topics reviewed below, the order of the arguments, etc. The main part of the review describes and summarizes each article and provides important information about the article. The main part of the review is written in various ways and there is no fixed format. It can be summarized in chronological order or according to different viewpoints. 

No matter which order you adopt, you need to summarize, organize, analyze and compare the collected documents to clarify the historical research background, current situation and future development direction of the subject. In the process of writing, pay attention to identifying the interrelationships between different documents, and establish the connection between the existing documents and your paper. Your hypothesis, argument, or research purpose is to run through the main line of the full text and link all the documents.


Finally, we need to emphasize the importance of references. References not only show respect for the authors of the cited documents and the evidence of the cited documents, but also provide clues for the readers to explore related issues in depth, so they should be taken seriously. The content of the references should be accurate, and the format should be clear and conform to the norms.

Notes for Writing Literature Review

Due to the characteristics of literature review, its writing method and format are different from reading reports and general academic papers. The following issues must be part of writer’s consideration while writing a literature review:

  • Reading a lot of literature is a prerequisite for writing a good literature review. If there are different opinions in the searched documents, you need to pay special attention to the explanation.
  • When selecting documents, pay attention to the time of publication and avoid citing outdated views.
  • Always remember to avoid plagiarizing the results of others. Cited documents should be faithful to the content of the documents, and ensure that the cited documents are corresponding. Since the literature review will include the author’s own review and analysis of the literature, it is necessary to distinguish the content of the literature from the author’s personal opinions during the writing process, and the content of the literature cannot be tampered with.
  • Use a formal academic writing style, use clear and concise language, and avoid oral English. In the writing process of Literature Review, one should always aim at being objective and respecting the views of others, instead of using emotional language to express personal views aggressively.
  • When introducing someone’s point of view, the verbs must not limit to “say”, but use accurate Active Verbs to reflect these points of view. The use of tense in Literature Review needs to use the present tense when explaining the main ideas and theories. In addition, researcher must use the past tense when explaining a particular research and experiment.

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