What Is Typically Included in a Literature Review?

Some features of a literature review include useful quotes from the literature, a discussion of strengths and weaknesses and identification of major trends. Identifying gaps in the literature is also often part of the review.

Adding useful quotes is one part of a literature review, and if these are part of a review, it is important to cite the quote with page numbers. Though quotes are important, it is equally important not to overload the review with quotes. Instead, writers should choose quotes that add emphasis to the points of the review. Adding strengths and weaknesses to the literature review is also important and should serve as a critical analysis point and not a description of the literature.

Identifying patterns and trends is also important for a literature review, and as the writer reads, he should take notes on any patterns or trends over the course of the piece. The patterns and trends often serve to give the big picture of what the author wishes to convey to the reader and helps for the point to become apparent over time.

A literature review should also include any noticeable gaps in the work, and the reviewer should identify these gaps and take note as to why the gaps exist. This interpretation often comes over time with the experience of writing reviews but is helpful to add to any literature review.