Literature review assignments

A literature review assignment is a critical analysis of previous research about a specific topic. This is different from a literature review for a research project, where you use past research findings to identify and justify your new research topic.

An effective literature review assignment involves:

  • Organising and synthesising previous research around key themes or issues
  • Evaluating previous research by:
    • Identifying and grouping similar research findings
    • Identifying and grouping contrasting research findings
    • Aligning research findings with your position
  • And other features, depending on your specific assignment task

Example of positioning research findings


For each theme that you write about, you can organise literature in this way. It makes the research findings, as well as your own position, clear for your reader.

Example of how to group content into themes

Sentence starters for writing about significance (pdf)


An effective literature review assignment may also involve:

  • Critiquing research, such as:
    • Identifying limitations of past research
    • Suggesting areas for future research

Example of identifying limitations and future research


Sentence starters for writing about limitations (pdf)

Sentence starters for writing about areas for future research (pdf)

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