Literature Review Tutorial

These pages have been developed by staff at CQUniversity to help postgraduate students conceptualize, research and write a literature review. The pages are intended as a guide and it is the responsibility of the supervisor to give advice.

Purpose

In general, the literature review should:

  • provide a context for the research
  • justify the research
  • ensure the research hasn't been done before (or if it is repeated, that it is marked as a "replication study")
  • show where the research fits into the existing body of knowledge
  • enable the researcher to learn from previous theory on the subject
  • illustrate how the subject has been studied previously
  • highlight flaws in previous research
  • outline gaps in previous research
  • show that the work is adding to the understanding and knowledge of the field
  • help refine, refocus or even change the topic