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Literature Reviews

Guidance on conducting a narrative literature review for dissertations and theses

What is a literature review?

A literature review is a synthesis and analysis of prior research on a specific topic. This guide focuses on the narrative or traditional literature review, which is commonly part of a journal article, dissertation/thesis, or writing assignment. For information about systematic reviews and other types of evidence synthesis, see the Systematic Review guide.

The following 9-minute video provides an overview of what is meant by a literature review, why it is important, and how the process works.

Credit: Literature Reviews: An Overview for Graduate Students, North Carolina State University Libraries, published under Creative Commons 3.0 BY-NC-SA US license.