The goal is to deliberately document, critically evaluate, and .
Typically it focuses on a very specific empirical question, often posed in a cause-and-effect form, such as "To what extent does A contribute to B?
In composing a literature review, it is important to note that it is often this third layer of knowledge that is cited as "true" even though it often has only a loose relationship to the primary studies and secondary literature reviews.
Given this, while literature reviews are designed to provide an overview and synthesis of pertinent sources you have explored, there are a number of approaches you could adopt depending upon the type of analysis underpinning your study.
" This type of literature review is primarily applied to examining prior research studies in clinical medicine and allied health fields, but it is increasingly being used in the social sciences.
Theoretical Review The purpose of this form is to examine the corpus of theory that has accumulated in regard to an issue, concept, theory, phenomena.The narrower your topic, the easier it will be to limit the number of sources you need to read in order to obtain a good survey of relevant resources.Your professor will probably not expect you to read everything that's available about the topic, but you'll make your job easier if you first limit scope of the research problem.A well-done integrative review meets the same standards as primary research in regard to clarity, rigor, and replication.This is the most common form of review in the social sciences.A good strategy is to begin by searching the HOMER catalog for books about the topic and review the table of contents for chapters that focuses on specific issues.You can also review the indexes of books to find references to specific issues that can serve as the focus of your research.Second are the reviews of those studies that summarize and offer new interpretations built from and often extending beyond the primary studies.Third, there are the perceptions, conclusions, opinion, and interpretations that are shared informally that become part of the lore of field.Given the value-laden nature of some social science research [e.g., educational reform; immigration control], argumentative approaches to analyzing the literature can be a legitimate and important form of discourse.However, note that they can also introduce problems of bias when they are used to make summary claims of the sort found in systematic reviews [see below].