Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Literature Reviews: Home

Dr. Frank A. Franco Library Learning Center

Literature Reviews


A literature review is a piece of writing intended to critically evaluate material that has been published on a certain topic or research problem.


According to the APA Publication Manual, Sixth Edition, literature reviews can

  • Define and clarify a problem
  • Summarize previous investigations to inform the reader of the state of research
  • Identify relations, contradictions, gaps, and inconsistencies in the literature
  • Suggest the next step or steps in solving the problem


A literature review can be published as a free-standing piece of writing or as a section of a larger work. For example, literature reviews are often published as a book chapter or within the introduction of a scholarly research article.  Literature reviews should follow the general guidelines of an appropriate style and formatting guide, such as APA, MLA, or Chicago.

Literature Review Resources

Related Research Guides