Skip to main content

Conducting a Literature Review

A collection of strategies and resources for conducting a literature review

What is a Literature Review?

A literature review systematically maps out the current state of knowledge on a topic, in order to justify the new knowledge to be gained or current knowledge to be verified or refined. (Healthcare Research: A Handbook for Students and Practitioners)

Steps in a Literature Review:

  • Develop a question
  • Search the literature
  • Analyze the literature
  • Write the review

TIP: Set up a research consultation appointment at the library for assistance with a literature review. Just fill out and submit the Book A Librarian form here: https://spokane.wsu.edu/library/book-a-librarian/.

Why Conduct a Literature Review?

There are many reasons to conduct a literature review:

  • To provide a theoretical framework for a given topic
  • To define terms and variables for an area of research
  • To provide an overview and synthesis of current evidence
  • To demonstrate a gap in the literature
  • To identify methodologies and research techniques for a research area

Baker, J.D. (2016). The purpose, process, and methods of writing a literature review. AORN, 103(3), 265-269. doi: 10.1016/j.aorn.2016.01.016

Helpful Resources

WSU Libraries, PO Box 645610, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-5610, 509-335-9671, Contact Us