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Leadership & Policy Doctoral Program


The literature review can be challenging to compose. Extensive research on published literature in the selected field of study is required to explain how your research fits into the larger conversation regarding a particular topic. This complex task requires the writer to spend time reading, analyzing, and conveying information. Explore this research guide for tipsstrategies, and instruction on developing a literature review.


Ways to Structure Your Literature Review

Different ways to organise your literature review include:

  • Topical order (by main topics or issues, showing relationship to the main problem or topic)
  • Chronological order (simplest of all, organise by dates of published literature)
  • Problem-cause-solution order
  • General to specific order
  • Known to unknown order
  • Comparison and contrast order
  • Specific to general order

Examples of Literature Reviews

All good quality journal articles will include a small Literature Review after the Introduction paragraph.  It may not be called a Literature Review but gives you an idea of how one is created in miniature. e.g Barnett, J., Bull, S. & Cooper, H. (2016) Pop-up library at the University of Birmingham: extending the reach of an academic library by taking "the library" to the students.  New Review of Academic Librarianship.  22(2-3) pp. 112-131.

Link to Sample Literature Reviews

Standalone Literature Review Paper