A review of related literature is a critical analysis of earlier scholarly work on a chosen topic. The aim of a review of related literature is to relate the body of existing scholarship to one's particular work.
Literature for review can be sourced from scholarly journals and online databases. Researchers should include referred and peer-reviewed articles that discuss the topic at hand, or deal with relevant topics that are helpful to the subject of the work of the researcher.
Once the list of works to be included in the review is completed and finalized, the researcher should closely read all the items on the list. In his appreciation of the works, the researcher should strive to find connections and relationships between the works he is reading and the research he is pursuing. The works should be categorized, and notes should be made about each article.
The researcher should also identify common traits or ideas among the works. A trend or pattern should emerge from the literature that is being reviewed. The researcher should also be able to point out shortcomings or flaws, then address them in his own work. An evaluation can also be made of the currency and relevance of the works in question.
In crafting a review of related literature, the researcher must always observe rules of academic writing, such as proper citation and documentation, to maintain the quality of his work and avoid accusations of academic dishonesty.