What is a Lit Review?
A literature review is an account of what has been published on a topic by accredited scholars and researchers. The purpose is to offer an overview of significant literature published on a topic. In writing the literature review, your purpose is to convey to your reader what knowledge and ideas have been established on a topic, highlighting the studies’ strengths and weaknesses.
How to Write a Lit Review
A step-bystep gide to help you research, organize, write and cite a literature review in psychology.
Selecting a Topic
Finding a topic to be the focus of your literature review requires you to narrow from a general interest area ("I like developmental psychology") to a subtopic ("I'm interested in the cognitive development of children") to a specific question you wish to study ("How do environment and stimultion affect object constancy in infants?")
These are some excellent places to begin your topic selection:
1. Your Textbook's table of contents
3. Top 25 Hottest Articles in Psychology from Science Direct (based on number of article downloads)
Remember to narrow your topic. For example, "Social Media and Teenagers" is too broad a topic. Consider limiting by these angles:
- Time Period: Past 10 years
- Location/Place: Cities
- Person/Group: College students
- Aspect/Event: Identity formation
New topic: What is the current understanding of how urban college students use social media in identity formation?
3 Types of Pych Studies
Lit Review Sample & Outline
Take a look at this example of a well-written literature review.