A literature review typically requires students to summarize, synthesize and critique the literature they find in their literature search. However, instructors may opt to assign students to summarize the literature without the expectation that students should synthesize or critique.
|Summary||Briefly describe the main or relevant points of each source.|
|Synthesis||Group information from sources into categories, themes or concepts to examine state of knowledge and/or varying perspectives on a topic.|
|Critique||Appraise theories or hypotheses found in the literature by examining methods and results.|
Based on the level of analysis, a literature review can fulfill one or more of the following purposes. Consider which purpose(s) match your assignment's learning outcomes.