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INTL 4450: Global Security Policy: Literature Reviews

Writing Literature Reviews

A literature review discusses published information in a particular subject area, and sometimes information in a particular subject area within a certain time period.

Literature reviews contain the following parts:

Introduction:  Explain why this research topic is important. 

Body:  Present your summaries and evaluations of the sources.  Your review must not look like an annotated bibliography (i.e. a list of sources with summaries attached).  Instead, your references in your literature review must appear related to each other.  You will be comparing and contrasting methodologies, conclusions, and importance of the research to the study of your topic (and by extension your profession).  You will be adding your own original analysis of the research presented based on your understanding of what has been published on your topic.

Ensure your final list of references includes all sources you’ve discussed.

Sometimes starting with an annotated bibliography can help you practice summary and evaluation of a specific article.  Then write your literature based on what you've learned.

If you've never written a Literature Review, or would like a refresher, UNC's Writing Center has a great explanation of the process, and UNC Charlotte addresses doing literature reviews in political science and public administration.

UNC Writing Center:  "Literature Reviews"

A guide to writing literature reviews in Political Science and Public Administration.

Purdue Owl "Writing a literature review."