The purpose of a literature review is to show "that the writer has studied existing work in the field with insight" (Haywood and Wragg, 1982). An effective literature review analyzes and synthesizes material. Literature reviews synthesize the work of others with insight and criticism, and should meet the following requirements (Caulley, 1992):
A literature review has a number of purposes. It enables you to :
Most students are not experts in their chosen field. Literature reviews enable one to develop a good working knowledge of the research in a particular area. Literature reviews raise questions, identify areas to be explored, summarize and criticize research, and prepare the reader for the study--your research--that is to follow.