Writing a literature review


Writing a literature review is not only reading the different authors’ papers, it also requires from the writers sufficient skills of analyzing, interpreting, comparing, and critical thinking. Therefore, the skills of writing literature review need training and practice.  Internet resources might be very useful for this purpose. If we ask Google for the question “How to write a literature review?”, it will give us more than 200 million responses. However, any writer has his or her own writing, interpreting and planning styles.

Writing the literature review, especially in English requires me much time and energy. But, I had good knowledge and practice of writing research papers at the University (bachelor’s) and Professional development (PDP) course. During my University years I was an active participation of science clubs and had experience of writing scientific and reserach papers. Thus, nowadays reading research papers, interpreting and analysing them are not much difficult for me. However, I have a little challenge with writing the literature review in terms of language, grammar and syntax. But in comparison with the first year at NU, I notice improvements in my academic writing.

I start writing the lierature review section with a making plan. After the planning whole process of writing the section, I spend 1-2 days for thinking over the plan and structuring the ideas in my mind. If some ideas come up, I change the plan or add the new ideas into the plan. Then, according to my plan, I start searching literature and read them highliting main ideas. While reading the literature, I note all the ideas under the sections in the plan. After reading, note-taking, I start comparing different ideas and structure them. The last action in this process is to present all the ideas in an academic way.

To conclude all the thoughts written above, I would like to add, that writing a lierature review is very exciting process which requires creativity and patient.

3 thoughts on “Writing a literature review

  1. I guess we have the same strategy when writing literature review. I also start planning my literature review part before I start reading articles. After reading some studies, I usually change my plan and design an outline. Sometimes, I draw literature map. What about you? Do you use literature map?
    P.S. proofread your post for spelling errors )


    1. Thank you, Yeraly!

      I used a literature map for writing a thesis proposal last year. It was really helful for structuring the ideas and relevant studies. But, actually I made the literature map only after reading all the papers. So I made some changes in the plan I had.


  2. Gulzina,

    I don’t think your grammar and syntax are much of a problem. But you do need to be careful to edit and proofread.

    200 million??!! That’s incredible. That must be very discouraging for someone who googles how to write a lit review. You’re lucky you have the NU help.

    Your sentence: During my University years I was an active participation of science clubs….
    Instead, you were an active PARTICIPATOR IN or you ACTIVELY PARTICIPATED IN….

    Be sure to proofread: lierature (you typed it this way twice).

    highliting (you mean highlighting)

    After reading, note-taking,
    Correction: After reading AND note-taking, …..

    ……is very exciting process which requires creativity and patient.
    Be careful about word form: You mean ….which requires creativity and PATIENCE.

    4 out of 5


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