A literature review asks: What do we know - or not know - about this particular issue/ topic/ subject?
How well you answer this question depends upon:
As you read, you'll encounter various ideas, disagreements, methods, and perspectives which can be hard to organize in a meaningful way.
A synthesis matrix helps you record the main points of each source and document how sources relate to each other.
Look for other literature reviews in your subject area to see how they are written.
VCU's Writing Center consultants can help you plan, develop, and organize your literature review and a follow-up appointment will help you edit, proofread, and revise it.
Many patrons who find this guide have experience with research. Some people, though, find it when they are just starting out as students at VCU. If that describes you, the following guides may be helpful.