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Writing the Literature Review: Step 3: Evaluate

So, you have to write a Literature Review? What is a Literature Review? How is it different from an annotated bibliography? Find out all that and more--Here.

Evaluation: Separating the wheat from the chaff


"Literature review" by NunoRibeiro is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

  • Skim the articles to get a general overview
  • Use that overview to group articles by category (e.g. topic, subtopic, chronologically etc.)
  • Take detailed notes about the articles using a consistent format
  • Look for any definitions of key terms in the literature
  • Take note when different authors use different definitions
  • Look for key statistics
  • Identify short notable quotes that you may want to use (sparingly) in your literature review
  • Look for any strengths and weaknesses in methodology
  • Make distinctions between the author's claims and the evidence in support of them
  • Identify gaps in the literature
  • Identify relationships between studies, when they present themselves
  • Note any relationships to your topic
  • Evaluate your references for their currency

Galvan, J. L. (2006). Writing literature reviews (3rd ed.). Glendale, CA: Pyrczak Publishing.