Writing the Review of Related Literature

What are the steps involved in writing the review of related literature? There are several ways to present the review of related literature, which composes Chapter 2 of the research paper. Typically, it starts with writing the introduction, the body of the review, and a synthesis. It is also suggested to make a list of the bibliographical information of the sources where ideas included in the review were found, because these are to be consolidated in the Bibliography section of the research paper.


The introduction of the review of literature discusses briefly the research problem and the significance of the study. It may also present the organization of the discussion of the claims and arguments of experts and researchers aligned with the topic of interest.


The body contains a narrative of relevant ideas and findings found in the reports of other researchers that support the present research problem. It must be stressed that the review of literature is not simply a listing and discussion of research findings, but it must be organized to form a story that will help the conduct of the research and the analysis and interpretation of data gathered in the research process. It may be helpful to make a topic outline as a guide in organizing and writing the body of the literature review.


The synthesis ties together the main ideas revealed in the review of related literature. It presents an overall picture of what was established up to the present, and perhaps how the review can support the development and conduct of the research. The role of synthesis is very important because it explains why the review is relevant and helpful to the present research.


This part contains the full bibliographic information of all the sources mentioned in the review. This information list is needed in building the References section of the research report. The format of the bibliographic entries in the References depends on the writing style adopted in writing the report.