This guide provides an overview of the literature review and its place in a research project, thesis, or dissertation, and demonstrate some strategies and resources for finding the information you need using the U of I Library.
Because different types of literature reviews are used in different disciplines, we also cover finding literature reviews in your research area.
What is a Literature Review?
A literature review is a systematic survey of the scholarly literature published on a given topic. Rather than providing a new research insight, a literature review lays the groundwork for an in-depth research project analyzing previous research. Type of documents surveyed will vary depending on the field, but can include:
- journal articles,
A thorough literature review will also require surveying what librarians call "gray literature," which includes difficult-to-locate documents such as:
- technical reports
- government publications
- working papers