The literature review is not just an annotated bibliography. You need to read the literature critically to identify the information and ideas presented in the text. You need to evaluate the ideas, looking at the strength and weaknesses of the paper and synthesise the material to demonstrate where it fits within the literature and its relationship to the research question.
Here some examples of questions you may ask while reading and analysing the material. These questions will help you focus and approach the material in an objective manner:
Critiquing the literature involves looking at the strength and weaknesses of research and evaluating the statements made by the author/s.
Books and resources on reading critically
The literature review critically analyses and summarises the content of the literature by grouping together material with similar conclusions or themes. Connections are made between the literature and your research question. Any gaps, inconsistencies or conflicting viewpoints are appraised within the context of the research question.
Literature reviews and systematic literature reviews are written in a formal tone known as academic voice. Writing in an academic voice requires the author to be clear, straightforward, and professional without using unnecessarily complicated vocabulary. The central components of academic voice include:
The CQUniversity Academic Learning Centre can assist you with academic voice. Make an appointment.
Queensland University of Technology: Writing a literature review
Griffith University Systematic literature reviews for education: Writing your literature review
Ashford University Academic Voice
The University of Melbourne Voice in Academic Writing
University of Melbourne, Academic Skills Writing the Literature Review