A literature review provides an overview of what's been written about a specific topic. There are many different types of literature reviews. They vary in terms of comprehensiveness, types of study included, and purpose.
The other pages in this guide will cover some basic steps to consider when conducting a traditional health sciences literature review, which is described below. Here is a page about different types of literature reviews.
This guide is based on a guide prepared by the Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences at Virginia Commonwealth University.
A traditional (narrative) literature review provides a quick overview of current studies. It helps explain why your study is important in the context of the literature, and can also help you identify areas that need further research. The rest of this guide will cover some basic steps to consider when conducting a traditional literature review. Click on the right thumbnail to see an excerpt from this type of literature review.