VCU Libraries

Research Guides

PSYC 317 Experimental Methods

What is a Literature Review?

A literature review is an essential component of every research project. It requires “re-viewing” what credible scholars in the field have said, done, and found in order to help you:

  • Identify what is currently known in your area of interest
  • Establish an empirical/ theoretical/ foundation for your research
  • Identify potential gaps in knowledge that you might fill
  • Develop viable research questions and hypotheses
  • Determine appropriate methodologies
  • Decide upon the scope of your research
  • Demonstrate the importance of your research to the field
A literature review is NOT a descriptive annotated bibliography. All works included in the review must be read, evaluated, and analyzed, and relationships between the works must also be identified and discussed.
 

Search examples Feb 2018