Skip to Main Content

Introduction to Literature

Before you start

  1. Create a Research folder in your email.
  2. As you find articles, book chapters, videos, etc, email yourself copies & URLs you find.
  3. Collect resources in the email Research folder for easy reference.
  4. Know what the assignment requires before you start. What are the learning objectives?

Tips & Tools


Literature - Understanding it: Analysis, Criticism, Reviews

  • Review: Short evaluation or assessment of a work. It may include the reviewer's thoughts and opinions. 
  • Analysis: Detailed discussion and interpretation of themes, symbols, etc. in a work.
  • Critique is a more comprehensive evaluation or assessment of a work,including: detailed analysis; discussion of other critiques; critic's personal views.

Tip Summaries from the University of Texas Libraries "Literature Reviews" Guide.

A literature review should: 

  • Provide a comprehensive and updated review of the literature;
  • Explain why this review has taken place;
  • Articulate a position or hypothesis;
  • Acknowledge and account for conflicting and corroborating points of view.

Purpose of a Literature Review

A literature review can be written as an introduction to a study to:

  • Demonstrate how a study fills a gap in research
  • Compare a study with other research that's been done

Or it can be a separate work (a research article on its own) which:

  • Organizes or describes a topic
  • Describes variables within a particular issue/problem

 Limitations of a literature review are:

  • It's only a snapshot in time. Unlike other reviews, this one has beginning, a middle and an end.
  • There may be nullifying future developments that could make your work less relevant.
  • It may be too focused. Some niche studies may miss the bigger picture.
  • It is difficult to be comprehensive. There is no way to make sure all the literature on a topic was considered.
  • It is easy to be biased if you stick to top tier journals. There are other places where people are publishing exemplary research.
    • Look to open access publications and conferences to reflect a more inclusive collection.
    • Act objectively: Make sure to include opposing views, not just supporting evidence. 
chat loading...

About UsContact UsFVTC Terms of ServiceSitemap
FVTC Mission, Vision, Values & Purposes FVTC Privacy StatementFVTC Library Services Accessibility Statement
DISCLAIMER: Any commercial mentions on our website are for instructional purposes only. Our guides are not a substitute for professional legal or medical advice.

Fox Valley Technical College • Library Services • 1825 N. Bluemound Drive • Room G113
Appleton, WI 54912-2277 • United States • (920) 735-5653
© 2024 • Fox Valley Technical College • All Rights Reserved.

The pages are hosted by SpringShare. Springshare Privacy Policy.