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Writing a Literature Review

A literature review (commonly referred to as a lit review) for scholarly research papers is written as a preliminary section immediately preceding the statement of research questions or hypotheses. The main part of the paper prior to a Methods section, a lit review places the study in a larger context by presenting, evaluating, and contextualizing research related to the topic of inquiry. A lit review differs from a review of literature (or a “basic” literature review), which seeks to merely summarize all current knowledge on a topic in order to propose new avenues of research for future scholars. Instead, a research lit review (or “advanced” literature review) incorporates only studies or reports most relevant to the specific study being proposed in the paper. It is ...

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