VCU Libraries

Research Guides

Write a Literature Review

How to Start Your Lit Review Webinar slides and recording available

How to Start Your Lit Review Webinar
Based on one of our most popular sessions, you will learn basic techniques for locating literature, tracking down citations and putting it all together.

Research Librarian

John Glover
(804) 828-6555
Cabell Library, Room 314N

Want to meet to talk about your research, teaching, or projects? Please get in touch.
Website / Blog Page

Research Librarian

Nita Bryant
Stop by, email, or call for an appointment:

Cabell Library, Room 314-M

Ask Us

"Lit Review 101"

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:

  1. the effectiveness of your search for information
  2. the quality & reliability of the sources you choose
  3. your ability to synthesize the sources you select

    Begin with a Synthesis Matrix

    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.


    Find Good Models

    Look for other literature reviews in your subject area to see how they are written.

    Need Help Writing the Literature Review?

    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.

    VCU University College Writing Center


      Are You New to Research?

      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.