A literature review is a critical assessment of the literature pertaining to a particular topic or subject. It is a 'systematic, explicit, and reproducible method for identifying, evaluating and synthesising the existing body of completed and recorded work produced by researchers, scholars, and practitioners' Fink, (2005).
What's its purpose?
- justify your research
- provide context for your research
- identify new ways, to interpret and highlight gaps in previous research
- ensure that the research has not been done before
- signpost a way forward for further research
- show where the research fits into the existing literature
- highlight flaws in previous research