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A research review is just that, a review on a selected piece of literature. The purpose of the literature review is to critique a specific topic that was published in either an article, journal, thesis, and or dissertation. The critique allows the writer to bring forth the findings and knowledge gathered from the published article. They are not the original work but a secondary review source of the primary work. It is a means of demonstrating an author’s knowledge about a particular field of study, including vocabulary, theories, key variables and phenomena, and its methods and history (Randolph et al., 2014). Which allow identification or concentration on the research outcome.

From the above stated information, one can see why a literature review is important. Not only does it critique the knowledge the author put forward, but it also gains methodological insights, points out recommendations for further research, and supports the theory in topic. There are multiple types of literature reviews and selecting the correct type of review to yield pertinent results is key. The most common type of review is a literature or narrative review which describes what related research has already been conducted, how it forms the thesis, and how the thesis fits into the research in the field (Grant & Booth, 2009).

When conducting a literature review, one should avoid cherry picking articles that only support your thesis in order to not create bias. Also, one should not use opinions when conducting a literature but should use academic or peer review articles, journals, or books to support the research and critique. Avoiding personal opinions, plagiarizing, or adding irrelevant content should be avoided. These cannot be used as evidenced based research to support a theory in question or to effectively critique the selected piece of literature and allow it to be appropriately used.

It is important to be well informed and apply up to date research evidence when conducting a literature review. One should also avoid cherry picking articles that support your thesis as results will be biased and not accurate. Since the purpose of the review is to critique and identify gaps in knowledge to further understand the topic of study, biased information is not useful for accurate results. The person conducting the review must implement the appropriate research techniques and critique guides to bridge the gap in knowledge and provide a useful literature review. The supportive evidence is to be used for the review with one’s own perspective on the merit of the literature one has read (Winchester & Salji, 2016). The perspective on the merit of the literature is then backed up by the research from selected support articles.


Grant, M. J., & Booth, A. (2009). A typology of reviews: an analysis of 14 review types and associated methodologies. Health Information & Libraries Journal, 26(2), 91-108. (Links to an external site.)

Randolph, J. J., Falbe, K., Manuel, A. K., Balloun, J. L. (2014). A Step-by-Step Guide to Propensity Score Matching in R. Practical Assessment, Research, and Evaluation. Volume 19(13). Retrieved from (Links to an external site.)

Winchester, C. L., & Salji, M. (2016). Writing a literature review. Journal of Clinical Urology, 9(5), 308–312.

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