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MSHAL Literature Review: Step 6: Writing the Literature Review

Creating a Bibliography

Create a bibliography of all the materials included in the literature review - books, articles, or documents using the appropriate style required by your instructor - APA, MLA, Chicago.

For citation examples see style manuals or seek help from the SVSU Writing Center, 3rd floor Zahnow Library.

Tips

Some tips:

  • Keep your audience in mind as you write your literature review. Your writing should be pitched at the level of expected readers. Use the terminology appropriate to them, i.e. physics terms for physicists; sociology terms for sociologists
  • Subheadings should be used to clarify the structure. They break up the material into more readable units as well as give the reader a place to "dive in" if she doesn't want to read all of the material.
  • Some common errors include:
    • a failure to focus by going off on tangents;
    • failure to cite essential pertinent studies;
    • failure to maintain a coherent, logical flow;
    • weak organization;
    • poor language, grammar etc.
  • Use direct quotation sparingly and judiciously. Paraphrasing writers' works is often preferable to quoting direct passages.
  • Be prudent in the number of studies you discuss and cite. Referring to almost everything on the subject is useless.
  • Don't cite references that you haven't read.
  • A review is NOT a group of linked abstracts, one per paragraph.