Prepared by University of Waterloo
About Literature Reviews
This guide will help you to plan and write literature reviews during your post-secondary education.
What will I learn?
By successfully completing the sections included in this guide, you will be able to
- identify the parts of a literature review and understand readers’ expectations for each section,
- develop a research strategy and use the Matrix Method to organize your research,
- apply research, analysis, and writing strategies, and
- present an organized and clearly written literature review that follows disciplinary and academic conventions.
How is this guide organized?
This guide includes six sections:
- Overview Background information about literature reviews.
- Planning and Researching Practical steps to plan and complete literature reviews.
- Parts of a Literature Review Strategies for writing each section of your literature review.
- Critical Writing Skills Techniques for incorporating your research and using academic writing conventions.
- Revising Your Work Advice about evaluating your draft and improving clarity.
- Resources A list of resources used in this guide and additional aids for students.
How will I learn?
In these sections, you will find a Literature Review Template, Sample Literature Reviews from different disciplines, and a Review Matrix.
Each part of the guide will engage you in a variety of ways to help you develop greater confidence and skills to write your literature review. Specifically, the following will be included:
- Clear, concise, and easy to read text
- Self-assessment questions
- Worksheets and templates
- Annotated literature review examples
- References to helpful resources
- Summaries of key points to remember
Let's Get Started!
Let's begin with Section A: Overview.