How To Format A Literature Review

What is a literature review? A literature review is not an annotated bibliography in which you briefly summarize each article you’ve reviewed. Well, a summary of what you’ve read is contained in the literature review, but it goes way beyond just summarizing professional literature.

A literature review mainly focuses on specific topics you’re interested in, giving a critical analysis of the subject concerning different issues and thereafter, relating the research done with your work. It could be done as a single paper or maybe a theoretical framework and criteria for a research study; more like a dissertation or thesis.

Step by Step Guide on How to Format a Literature Review

Do you know how to format a literature review? This is step by step guide very useful to use for your literature review format. We’ve gone a step further and integrated some of the tools that would be helpful and that you might need in the process of organizing and understanding how to format a literature review. We also have links to guide you to where you can get more help on literature review format guidelines.

Besides the guides that we’re going to give you, it is also crucial that you locate some of the literature review format examples in your field of study to get a clear understanding of what literature review truly is.

  • Review the APA Guidelines

  • What is a literature review APA? It is vital that before you go ahead with your literature review paper format that you read through and understand the common core elements to consider on literature review format APA. To be precise, pay close attention to the general document guidelines (e.g., the expected font, spacing, margins), abstract, body, quotations, text citations and even more, title page.

  • Choose a Specific Topic

  • This will help you narrow down on your research. For instance, it will be of great importance if your topic of choice is the same one you’re going to do in your final M.E.d. Project or to some extent related to your final project. In as much, you’re free to choose any topic you see fit.

  • Identify the Literature You’re Interested in Reviewing

  • Go a step further and acquaint yourself with some of the online databases and select the databases that are relevant to your field of study. Be careful to use only relevant databases; you can go ahead and use the Google Scholar to help you with your search.

    Consider the following tips:

  • Experiment with different searches.

  • Redefine your topic; if maybe the topic is too broad.

  • Identify classic studies or landmark and theorists to provide you with a basic framework of what your study expects.

  • Careful Analysis of the Literature

  • You’ve already identified the articles you need to review, now go ahead and analyze.

  • A brief overview of the articles; Skim the pieces to have an idea of the general purpose and content of the article. Quick tip, as you read the articles, note down some of the essential points for future references.

  • Define key terms.

  • Highlight the vital statistics you need to use in your article review format introduction.

  • Choose some of the quotations you might want to use. Of note, direct quotations must be accompanied by references and quote only when you think some essential meaning would be lost in translation.

  • Each article focuses on different aspects, therefore, note emphasis, strengths, and weaknesses.

  • Look out for the major trends and patterns; make notes of patterns over time as reported in the literature.

  • Look out for gaps in the text and reflect on their existence.

  • Be keen on relationships between studies; address these relationships in your writing and discuss their relevant studies.

  • Focus entirely on your topic.

  • Do a reference evaluation for currency coverage; you can always find more articles on your topic but you ought now to decide at what point you’re done collecting resources and now need to focus on your writing. Your reference list should be up to date.

  • Summarize the Literature Review Using a Concept Map or Table Format

  • In your article review format, tables could come in handy to help you organize an overview and summarize your findings. If you choose to include tables in your literature review format, then you must accompany it with an analysis that summarizes, interprets and digests the literature you charted in the table.

    Use Microsoft Word to create a table, or you can first create the table in Excel and then on completing, go ahead and import the Excel sheet into Word. Excel enables you to sort findings according to Variety.

    Some of the tables includes:

  • Key concepts and terms

  • Research methods

  • Research results summary

  • Digest the Literature Before Writing the Review

  • This is where the notes and summaries you made are of help. Using the above, develop a review paper format outline.

  • Consider your voice and purpose before you begin

  • How to reassemble your notes

  • Come up with a topic outline that supports your argument

  • Reorganize notes according to argument paths

  • Within topics, look out for areas that need more research

  • Plan to summarize, present conclusions and impacts, and different directions for future research purposes.

  • Writing the Review

  • Know the broad problem area

  • Indicate the importance of the topic being reviewed

  • Distinguish your research findings from other information sources and be specific on your time frame

  • For citations, identify them as such.

  • On issues you won’t be discussing, refer the reader to reviews

  • Justify your comments and avoid long lists on nonspecific references

  • All relevant resources must be cited

  • Always have a conclusion; how you end the review depends on your reason for writing. For instance, for stand-alone reviews, you need to make clear how the content in your review supported the proposition or assertion made in the introduction.

  • Conclusion

    It is essential to understand the literature review format APA guidelines before you go ahead with your article review format. Do you now know what is a literature review APA? Follow this guide, and you’ll be well on your way to formatting an excellent literature review.

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