A literature review is a process of analyzing and organizing scholarly literature on a topic. In a literature review you are not establishing your own argument, you are gathering what has already been written on your topic; sythensizing the arguments, perspectives, or themes; and summarizing the sources and how they apply to your research question.
Generally, a literature review contains the following sections:
1) An introduction to your research question and/or your topic
2) A discussion of the major themes within your topic and the supporting literature (in essay form)
3) A conclusion
4) A reference list
There are many guides out there to help you organize your lit review. Here are some suggestions:
Literature reviews are critical evaluations of materials that have already been published. They include meta-analyses, in which previously published data from different sources are combined and analyzed.
When writing a literature review:
Literature review elements can be arranged in various ways by grouping research by:
The Writing Center has examples of formatting in APA. Below are links to an example paper in APA and citing in APA. They have many other helpful resources! Check out their website.
For those of you who like working from a template, here is an APA template for MS Word.