A good literature review should critically evaluate the quality and findings of the research.
A good literature review should avoid the temptation of stressing the importance of a particular research program.
This is why it is still good practice to begin research in an academic library.
Any journals found there can be regarded as safe and credible.
All sides of an argument must be clearly explained, to avoid bias, and areas of agreement and disagreement should be highlighted.
A literature review is likewise not a collection of quotes and paraphrasing from other sources.
In addition, within research-based texts such as a Doctoral thesis, a literature review identifies a research gap (i.e.
unexplored or under-researched areas) and articulates how a particular research project addresses this gap.
A literature review can be a precursor to the introduction of a research paper, or it can be an entire paper in itself, acting as the first stage of large research projects and allowing the supervisor to ascertain that the student is on the correct path.
A literature review is a critical and in depth evaluation of previous research.