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Political Science: Conducting a Literature Review

Last Updated: May 21, 2024 8:53 AM

What is a Literature Review?

"A literature review is an account of what has been published on a topic by accredited scholars and researchers. [...] In writing the literature review, your purpose is to convey to your reader what knowledge and ideas have been established on a topic, and what their strengths and weaknesses are. As a piece of writing, the literature review must be defined by a guiding concept (e.g., your research objective, the problem or issue you are discussing, or your argumentative thesis). It is not just a descriptive list of the material available, or a set of summaries."

From Yale University Library "The Literature Review: A Few Tips on Writing It,"

Literature Review Help

Courtesy of the University of North Carolina State University Libraries

Useful Guides for Doing One

How to Conduct a Literature Review in Political Science

How to Read a Research Article

More on Doing a Literature Review

  • Jeffrey W. Knopf, "Doing a Literature Review," PS: Political Science & Politics 1 (January 2006): pp. 127-132.
  • Iain McMenamin, "Process and Text: Teaching Students to Review the Literature," PS: Political Science & Politics 1 (January 2006): pp. 133-135.


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