Literature reviews

Set out your findings

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.