Writing literature reviews is one of the academic assignments that you will come across frequently as you go through your college days. Moreover, you will encounter them in various forms in which they come. But regardless of the type of review you will face, the end will always remain the same—to test your ability to read, analyze, and objectively critique a piece of writing so that the reader can get to its gist without needing to read it. If you want to learn about the different types of reviews, and how well you need to write yours, then I welcome you to accompany me on this journey of discovery.

What is a Literature Review?

Before I take you through the finer details of the different types of literature reviews, let us look at the definition of this type of academic assignment. In short, a literature review is an assignment that discusses published works in a given area of study. In some instances, it goes deeper to look into a given subject area within a particular period. When writing a review, you may at times be required to do a simple summary of the sources your tutor assigned you even though the summary needs to assume an organized pattern and combine it with a synthesis. When I talk about a summary, you will need to give your readers a recap of the key details of the sources you received. But with synthesis, you will have to reorganize or reshuffle the information you received in the sources. Additionally, a good review might interpret the existing materials or blend the new interpretations with the older ones. Lastly, a great review will contain the evaluation of the sources and consequently advising your readers on the most important and relevant issues or themes of the materials under review.

Various Types of Literature Reviews

Armed with a clear understanding of what a review is, I now take you down to the various types of reviews you will encounter in your college studies.


Narrative literature review


This type of review, also known as the traditional or conventional review, summarizes and critiques a piece of literature in the light of a given thesis topic. When dealing with this type of review, it will be necessary to make a comprehensive review of the topics at hand and highlight the main areas of research with the aim of identifying the gaps in the research and helping to polish or define the research questions.


Scoping review


This type of review is a close cousin to the systematic one except that it does not have any limitations to the materials you should use. Its main aim is finding all the materials that are relevant to the topic at hand. When dealing with it, you need to synthesize your searching methods to duplicate the searches and deal with all the gaps that are present in the results.


Systematic quantitative literature review


When dealing with a systematic review, you are required to review a question that is formulated clearly using systematic and reproducible methods in identifying, selecting, and appraising very relevant research. In addition, it entails you collecting and analyzing data from the studies that are incorporated in the review. In any case, the review can either be qualitative or quantitative in nature.

Cochrane review

When dealing with this type of review, you will be handling issues that relate to primary research in human healthcare and human policy. This kind of review is investigative in nature since it investigates the effects of medical interventions that are aimed at preventing medical conditions, treating, and rehabilitating patients. Lastly, these reviews are effective tools for assessing the accuracy of diagnostic tests of particular conditions in patient groups and settings.

Tips on How to Write a Good Literature Review

To help you write effective literature reviews, I have compiled nuggets of wisdom that will help you to excel. Take a look at some of them.


Create a focus for your paper


You will need to look at the materials before you and organize them around ideas and thoughts instead of just rehashing the sources you received. It is also important to consider which thoughts, themes, and issues are most suitable for connection your sources together into a coherent masterpiece. In your focus, it will be necessary to present your materials well in a manner that corresponds to a given theory. In addition, you have to identify how well they reveal a particular trend or debate in that discipline of study.


Remain critical and consistent


Also, you ought to discuss your ideas critically, identify any methodological challenges, and point out any research gap you may come across.


Use your voice


Your review should focus on the author’s ideas but without muffling your personal voice. Make sure you present all these ideas in your own voice so that you don’t become a parrot.


Be careful how you paraphrase your review


Even though paraphrasing is a good way of avoiding too many direct quotations in your review, be careful how you use it. It is necessary to be cautious when paraphrasing your reviews so that you do not present those ideas in a manner that denies the author their due credit. Therefore, it is needful to indicate that the ideas you are paraphrasing are not yours so that you don’t end up in the trap of accidental plagiarism.


Don’t overuse direct quotes


To avoid monotony and appearing or sounding like a parrot, you need to avoid too many quotes. Instead, you can paraphrase them and ascribe the ideas to their authors.

These are all the basics you need to know about various types of literature reviews and how to write them. If you need any extra assistance or more information, search for relevant blog publications (the “Literature Review” rubric), look through my portfolio samples or just contact me. I am available to help you with all your literature review assignments. So, there is no need to worry because you can always count on my professional help to meet your needs.