As you read, you'll encounter different methods and perspectives on a topic which can be hard to organize in a meaningful way. A literature matrix facilitates organization, enabling you to summarize each study and then synthesize "the body of literature."
Using a spreadsheet or table to organize the key elements (e.g. subjects, methodologies, results) of articles/books you plan to use in your literature review can be helpful. This is called a review matrix.
When you create a review matrix, the first few columns should include (1) the authors, title, journal, (2) publication year, and (3) purpose of the paper. The remaining columns should identify important aspects of each study such as methodology and findings.
Click on the image below to view a sample review matrix.
You can also download this template as a Microsoft Excel file.