A literature review is a thorough and critical evaluation of previous research on a topic of interest to the author. The review summarizes a particular area of research that helps to explain why an author is interested in a particular topic. A literature review is primarily associated with formal academic writing, such as a master’s thesis, dissertation, or a peer-reviewed journal article. It is commonly part of a proposal written by someone pursuing a thesis or dissertation, known as a research prospectus. A literature review is also a common writing assignment in undergraduate- and graduate-level courses. An effective review of literature will define key terminology, identify a theoretical framework for the topic being addressed, and describe relevant past research in support of a ...
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