Here you can see a fragment of a literature review on nursing that I have produced. As a rule, a literature review comes as the second chapter of a dissertation, following the introductory chapter. Its major purpose is to provide evidence of your thorough research of previously published material on your subject – to see what other scholars examined before you, how they approached various aspects of the problem, and what basis their findings can provide for your study.

The most important in a literature review is to give credit to all evidence you have found, and to show that you have managed to systematize it. As you can see from my sample, at first I mention sources that discussed my specific issue of concern, and further proceed to more specific aspects thereof. It is vital to distinguish empirical and theoretical research evidence: the latter usually comes first, and the former is provided in later sections of a literature review.