When conducting research, a literature review is an essential part of the project because it covers all previous research done on the topic and sets the platform on which the current research is based. No new research can be taken seriously without first reviewing the previous research done on the topic.
To conduct a literature review, researchers must first find all previous research done on the topic they are studying. This review of the literature provides a thorough introduction to the reader on the topic and presents all the analyses and findings of previous studies. Current researchers use these findings to develop their own research questions and eventually to create their own hypotheses on the topic that provides a focus for their explorations and analyses. The findings of the current research can then be compared and contrasted with previous findings and used as takeoff point for further research.
Literature reviews are required by academic degree committees, peer-review panels and organizations that set guidelines for research such as the American Psychological Organization. These reviews not only help to establish trust with readers, but they also help researchers avoid inadvertent plagiarism. Researchers cite all previous research done on a specific topic and detail how such research has been used to develop the current project.