How to Write a Literature Review for a Research Paper

A literature review is a scholarly source survey that gives an overview of a certain topic. How to write a literature review for a research paper? It’s a collection of the most significant and relevant publications of a topic to provide a look that is comprehensive as what has been aid and who has written. When a person decides to research an issue, the first step is learning more about similar topics that is written. It translates into a literature review when a research paper is written.

A literature review is a pillar in which research ideas stand. It provides relevant context and background on the research problem you are exploring. It would help if you had relevant publications, analyzing them critically, and explaining what you find. For a literature review to be good, it needs you to synthesize, analyze, and evaluate critically for a clear picture to be given on the subject state of knowledge.

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How to Write a Literature Review for a Research Paper

Literature Review Format

Before research is written, consider and review the format of your literature review and think about what the text should contain. Having an outline is advisable as all the requirements are answered in your work. It’s important to ask yourself certain questions on how to write a literature review for a research paper format such as;

  • In the research field, what is known?
  • In the field of research, are there any gaps?
  • Would you like to mention studies that other researchers have done?
  • The topics key researchers?
  • Are you having a consensus on the topic?
  • Is there a hotly debated subject on the topic?
  • Are there any issues or methods in the fields that may affect your research?
  • Does the literature give a direction on the methodology type to use?
  • The topic’s current status in the research field?
  • Any key figures and facts you would want to include?

There are two major formatting styles on how to write a literature review for a research paper that dictates how to present the research.


Academics often use APA literature review formatting styles all over the world. Define the structure in terms of line spacing, margins, headings, and font sizes used in writings. In case one is not aware of how they should write a literature review in APA style, they should refer to different structures online to get familiar. You can also follow some APA style guidelines when writing a literature review guideline.


The MLA literature review format has similarities to APA, but there are minor differences. The formatting once again focuses on margins and line spacing. Keep essential tips in mind since you are building the foundation of your work and giving background information to the readers.

How to Write a Literature Review for a Research Paper

Literature Review Structure

How to write a literature review for a research paper? When writing a literature review, the structure should include the following;

  • The issue, theory, and subjects overview under considerations along with the literature review objective.
  • Dividing into three categories or themes work under review
  • I am trying to explain the similarities of how each work varies from others.
  • Concluding, which is the best piece putting their arguments into consideration, trying to convince their opinion and making a great contribution to the development and understanding of the research area.

Literature Review Outline

How to write a literature review for a research paper? A literature review summarises research on a particular subject that has been published. It gives the reader an idea of the current situation on what has is done, and what people know. It may include suggestions on what needs is done to increase the understanding and knowledge of a certain problem. The article needs to be from a professional journal, meaning authors are professionally trained, and others have examined the work. Studies are different, and you will find some complex, while others are easy. Choose something you will be comfortable with, since its easier to summarize, unlike something complex.

A typical literature review example for research proposal contains the following components:

1. Introduction

  • It’s the definition of the topic you have chosen and the related literature review being investigated you have chosen
  • Note intentional exclusion in the introduction
  • State your general findings of the review and note down available sources in the subject area.

2. Main body

  • There are different ways to organize the evaluation of sources. Useful examples are thematic and chronological approaches.
  • Summarize each work critically and evaluate its methodology, premise, and conclusion. Adress omissions, inconsistencies, and errors, as you will identify depth, accuracy, and relevance.
  • Use transitions and logical errors to connect sources.

3. Conclusion

  • The conclusion is a summary of the key findings of the general review findings.
  • It is the section the reviewer has a chance to justify their research proposal. The idea should be supported and re-stated according to the review findings.

4. Reference

  • A literature review not only contains the intext citations, it also contains the correct and complete citation for every source

Importance of the Literature Review

Most people take writing a literature review in an academic paper a formality. To most of them, it is different listing studies related to their work, and it ends there. Such thoughts take away the importance of a literature review, as a well-written research paper or experimental report. Find out the benefits of how to write a literature review for a research paper review:

It Creates a Rapport with the Audience

A literature review helps create a rapport with the readers or audience for them to have faith in your work. Through this, they can give your work credit. They appreciate you doing the fact-checking and fact-finding mission, which is an initial step to every research writing. Most students are not experts in the field they are working on, but when others listen thoroughly, they convince on what you are talking about. It is essential to list journals, books, and other sources; it makes your work more creditable and trustworthy. Emphasize on your sources, findings, thesis, and finding as you stick to the gist.

You Avoid Incidental Plagiarism

When a person writes an original paper, without a literature review, they may b at risk of plagiarism. You can have original work, then find out someone has similar work with you. Trying to convince people of your work being original becomes very difficult. Someone ends up wasting money, time ad other resources. Preparing a literature review would have resulted in something different. When compiling your review, one would have noticed that there is available similar content on this topic. It gives a chance to tweak or tailor your research to something that looks more original.

It Helps Shape the Research Focus

As one assembles outside sources, they tend to evaluate, synthesize, condense, and paraphrase the gist of the external sources in their own words. Through the winnowing process, one places relevant context in their work of what other researchers have done in the past. Literature views help one contrast and compare whatever is to be done in historical context and how original or different their research is from other people.

It helps with rationalizing why that research needs to is done. One may take advantage of the different or new research method thas has not been previously available, allowing them to collect data more accurately. One may also conduct research that is more exact and precise to may modern technology innovations. Its helps one guide their research paper in a different direction by offering different perspective or insights on the topic research.

What is Literature Review in Research Methodology

Not always does a review focus on what a person has said (findings), its how they say it (method of analysis). How to write a literature review for a research paper? Analysis of literature review in the research method gives a framework of understanding in different levels, e.g., substantive fields, theory, data collection, research approach, and analysis techniques.

Researchers draw a wide variety of knowledge on how to write a literature review for a research paper ranges from the practical document to the conceptual level for the fieldwork use. Its used in areas of epistemological and ontological consideration, qualitative and quantitative integration, interviewing, sampling data collection, and data analysis. The approach assists with highlight ethical issues that one should be aware of and be considered as one goes through their study.

How to Write a Literature Review for a Research Paper

Literature Review Length

How to write a literature review for a research paper, the word count and length of a literature review paper is different depending on the research paper. A Ph.D. thesis should not exceed 8- 10,000 words. It is important to note that changes can happen on the subject and vary on the subject basis enormously. A master’s dissertation can be around 2-3000 words, and many factors are to consider. For undergraduates, the literature review cab one around 2000 words. It is advisable to seek help from the supervisor if one is not clear with any information.

A strong literature review surveys a large ad diverse body of work, which is more or less related beyond the summary. It contributes away in classifying the surveyed task where different similarities and differences. Keep the focus on whether to outline a full or mini-review. The entire main body should flow for the leader to guide and draw into the writing. A conceptual scheme on the review should is to be drawn using mind mapping techniques. Getting a logical structure for the literature review helps maintain word count on each section.

Literature Review Sample

How to write a literature review for a research paper? When writing a literature review, there is no one ideal type, and one may be required to use different methods giving a reason why you choose a particular method. Note that the research area, methodology, and problems play a key role. Look carefully at the assessment task. The literature review sample in the research proposal to consider before writing your literature review. Use literature review sample examples that available online to guide you on what to expect regardless of whether its a psychology literature review example, building loyalty, and many other examples.





Lesson Plan: Whole Class Instruction

The Context for the Lesson

Studying the English language is complex, especially for non-English speakers such as the Chinese and French-speakers. However, the process of comprehending this language, including how to spell and to create sentences in English depends on vocabulary acquisition and application. This lesson plan comprises the study of vocabulary learning and application among individuals studying English as a course, especially those in grade two. Hence, the vocabulary acquisition and utilization lesson is a part of the English study in school.

Lesson Objectives

Upon the conclusion of this class, learners should display:

  1. The aptitude for creating sentences using new English vocabulary.
  2. Higher levels of understanding concerning the optimal tactics for studying and mastering English vocabulary.
  3. Heightened English grammar when making sentences or writing assignments.
  4. Improved skills regarding the proper verbal construction of sentences in English.
  5. The ability to participate in collaborative conversations with diverse adults and peers in small and more significant teams and during play (New York State Education Department (NYSED) 5).

Means for Activating Background Information

Being a second-grade class for students learning English, it implies that most of them have a brief, if not a detailed background concerning vocabulary acquisition. However, to activate these background information among learners, I will utilize the following strategies:

  1. Use of image brainstorm. I will prepare images about the basics of English language learning, which I shall present to learners to stimulate their imagination concerning English vocabulary acquisition and application.
  2. Assessing the requirements of each student regarding vocabulary use and development. I will accomplish this by asking each student a simple question about this lesson to analyze the level of their understanding of English vocabulary construction. However, some questions will be rhetorical to create an excellent picture of what the students expect at the end of the program.
  3. Skimming the materials available before the training session starts. This activity is essential because it will offer learners a chance to appreciate the leaning materials that will be used throughout the lesson at the start of the class. This action will inspire a positive attitude towards English vocabulary application and acquisition among students, resulting in optimal performance.

Direct Instruction

Students will learn about various aspects of English vocabulary construction. I will introduce simple strategies that students can practice to study English vocabulary effectively. These strategies will include reading words loudly (NYSED 7). This action will ensure that each student grasps the ability to create and to apply new English vocabulary frequently in their conversations or discussions.

Student Practice

Learning new English vocabulary can be tedious if the teacher does not implement distinct practices to make the exercise pleasurable. In this coaching period, I will apply distinct strategies to make this activity exciting among apprentices. These methods include:

  1. Writing new words on the blackboard or whiteboard and requesting beginners to read them aloud jointly. This activity will offer students a chance to practice speaking the vocabularies aloud and phonating them correctly.
  2. Asking apprentices to copy the new terminologies into their vocabulary notebooks. This process will permit students to create their mini-dictionaries of the terms they will learn in class. Afterwards, the students can search for the detailed meaning of these words using the dictionary.
  3. Using the words in the sentences when teaching. Once the students have developed the first entry of the new vocabularies, I will use the terms in sentences as much as possible when teaching. This action will ensure that students appreciate the disparate frameworks of these words.


Indeed, in a class of learners from diverse backgrounds, a teacher is most likely to encounter student (s) with erudition disabilities (SWD). For example, when teaching new vocabulary acquisition and application, some beginners may display troubles in learning new terminologies or difficulties in using the new words for sentence construction during discussions. Through ongoing student valuation, I will appreciate the changing needs of each student (Ford). Once I identify these students, I will offer multiple forms of examination that match the specific vocabulary proficiency and learning profiles of each student. This action will give each student a chance to demonstrate what they have learned regarding English vocabulary application.


At the end of the lesson, I will give each student 30 seconds to briefly describe what they have learned about progressing their English vocabulary. During this time, learners will equally have an opportunity to recommend approaches we can use to make new English vocabulary erudition enjoyable in our next session. This exercise will guarantee student fulfilment, encouraging them to practice sentence construction using new words during their leisure time. Besides, I will request apprentices to help with collecting all the training materials and objects utilized during the drilling session.


As already indicated above, I will give each student an assessment based on his or her English education profile. I will ask each apprentice to make sentences using new English words of their own choice. This exercise will include a verbal reading of written sentences with new English words, where students will speak their sentences aloud during classroom sessions. Each student will complete this evaluation as an individual and as a team.

In their teams, the learners will gain confidence in using new English vocabulary during their daily conversations and group discussions (NYSED 5). For instance, I will assign each team a picture from a local newspaper or magazine and request them to write a short prompt about it using their own English vocabulary. As they strive to accomplish their group assignments, each student will improve their own English vocabulary.

Materials Required

The following resources will be required during this lesson.

  1. Digital voice recorders – these devices will be utilized during the verbal presentation of the sentences using new English vocabularies. Afterward, learners can listen to their voices, identifying their weaknesses regarding the use of new English words.
  2. Notebooks and pens – each student should have a notebook and a pen to write and to create a list of new words learned throughout the training period.
  3. Newspapers – to help coachees appreciate the context and the use of different English expressions in the real world.
  4. Course books – apprentices can borrow or buy any latest textbook that discusses strategies concerning the improvement of English vocabulary.
  5. Dictionary – students should install a dictionary on their laptops or smartphones, or buy hardcopy dictionary. The dictionary will help learners appreciate the distinct descriptions of new English vocabulary.

Works Cited

Ford, Karen. “Differentiated Instruction for English Language Learners.” Accessed 18/6/2020.

New York State Education Department (NYSED). PK-2 Next Generation ELA Standards at a Glance: PK-2 Reading Standards (Literary and Informational Text). 2017, pp. 1-7, Accessed 18/6/2020.

How to Write a Literature Review for a Research Paper

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