Archived Material (Lit review)

A literature review, or literature survey, can be either a key component of a larger paper such as a report or dissertation, or you may be asked to write one for its own sake. This book shows you how to write a present a review appropriately.

Set out your findings

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Review the existing literature in terms of both history and theme.

The review should be more than a furniture catalogue in which every book gets a two line entry. It should show that ‘the writer has studied existing work in the field with insight’. (Haywood and Wragg 1982 p.2)

Remember to establish in your Literature Review:

  • What the principle themes are
  • What is relevant and irrelevant to your work
  • Why the relevant work fits into your study and how you will adopt it.


Don't merely paraphrase or describe the texts.

Avoid writing A says this, B says that and C says the other.