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TEL 703/TEL 711

This guide supports TEL 703 Innovation in Teaching and Learning and TEL 711 Strategies for Inquiry

What is a Literature Review

"A literature review is an account of what has been published on a topic by accredited scholars and researchers. Occasionally you will be asked to write one as a separate assignment, ..., but more often it is part of the introduction to an essay, research report, or thesis. In writing the literature review, your purpose is to convey to your reader what knowledge and ideas have been established on a topic, and what their strengths and weaknesses are. As a piece of writing, the literature review must be defined by a guiding concept (e.g., your research objective, the problem or issue you are discussing, or your argumentative thesis). It is not just a descriptive list of the material available, or a set of summaries."

--Written by Dena Taylor, Health Sciences Writing Centre, University of Toronto


Writing the Literature Review sites:

Writing the Literature ReciewSUNY/Empire State College 

Literature Reviews: UNC Chapel Hill

Write a Literature Review (UC Santa Cruz)

Online Tutorial (North Carolina State University Libraries)

The Literature Review: A Few Tips on Conducting it (University of Toronto)

Literature Review Tutorial (CQ University-Australia)

Write a Review of Literature (UW-Madison's Writing Center)

Literature Review-A Self-guided Tutorial (IUPUI Library)

Doing your Undergraduate Project: The Literature Review (ASU Access only): Sage Research Methods


What are the goals of creating a Literature Review?

  • To develop a new theory
  • To evaluate a theory or theories
  • To survey what’s known about a topic
  • Identify a problem in a field of research 
  • Provide a historical overview of the development of a topic

Type of Literature Reviews:

  • Mature and/or established topic: Topic is well-known and the purpose of this type of review is to analyze and synthesize this accumulated body of research. 
  • Emerging Topic:The purpose of this type of review to identify understudy or new emerging research area.

The ASU Library acknowledges the twenty-two Native Nations that have inhabited this land for centuries. Arizona State University's four campuses are located in the Salt River Valley on ancestral territories of Indigenous peoples, including the Akimel O’odham (Pima) and Pee Posh (Maricopa) Indian Communities, whose care and keeping of these lands allows us to be here today. ASU Library acknowledges the sovereignty of these nations and seeks to foster an environment of success and possibility for Native American students and patrons. We are advocates for the incorporation of Indigenous knowledge systems and research methodologies within contemporary library practice. ASU Library welcomes members of the Akimel O’odham and Pee Posh, and all Native nations to the Library.