The Literature Review Process

The Literature Review Process
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  • 0:08 Purpose of Literature Review
  • 1:31 Literature Review Process
  • 2:54 Literature Review Example
  • 3:24 Tricks and Tips
  • 4:06 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Devin Kowalczyk

Devin has taught psychology and has a master's degree in clinical forensic psychology. He is working on his PhD.

Literature review is a process of looking at what research has been done in a specific field of study. In this lesson, we will explore how to work through the process of performing and writing a literature review.


Do you realize how much information is out there? Yes, you may have an original and brilliant idea that can be researched, but you have to know what is out there before you start something, because your original and brilliant idea may have already been done!

Literature review is the process and product of examining published material. The term is applied to both the act of reviewing published literature and the section of your own written work that discusses the research you did. Typically, this is the second section in a research article or book, after the introduction but before the methodology. This means that when a study is published, the literature review section will be included. The basic idea is you will review the literature in the field ('process') and then write a brief summary of the article and their findings ('product').

There are two reasons to perform a literature review. The first is found in the process of reading what is present in the field. You need to be familiar with the terminology of a field and what prior research and experiments relate to your own work. Maybe you can adapt your study to answer questions that others are having trouble with. The second reason is that writing down what is happening in the field gives readers a basic understanding of current research and points out the gap your research is going to fill.

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