Getting Started with your FYP (Final Year Project)

  • What is a FYP?
  • Research Topic
  • Research Question

A literature review is....

Reviewing the literature, starting off..., libguide - literature review.

  • Key Section: Methodology
  • Recommended Reading
  • Some Final Tips
'a description of work that has already been published in a particular field or on a specific topic....part of a thesis or dissertation, forming an early context-setting chapter....'

                                                                                                                           (Emerald, 2020)

           ( Wolfson , 2013)

(Steely Library, 2015)


(Gacho, 2018)

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Literature Review - what is a Literature Review, why it is important and how it is done

by Monika Bukowska, TUS Library

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The Library, Technological University of the Shannon: Midwest


  • Selecting a Topic
  • Searching Tools & Tips


Accessing resources not found in ntu library, what a literature review is not, searching for resources, more readings and resources, getting started on your literature review, research mindset, purpose of a literature review.

  • Grey Literature
  • Evaluating Sources
  • Research Methods
  • Academic Integrity & Citations
  • Submitting FYP to DR-NTU

What is a Literature Review?

A literature review is a systematic analysis and summary of the published academic writings directly relating to your topic of research. It should provide the reader with background information on your topic, and explain the significance of your research, and how your research relates to the rest of the academic publications on the topic. 

This section will guide you on what a literature review is and is not, why you need a literature review, and how you should go about getting started with your literature review. 

Be sure to check out the below links with more details on how to evaluate the sources for your literature review as well as the usage of grey literature in your literature review!

  • Using Grey Literature
  • Document Delivery - For Journal Articles
  • Inter-library Loan - For Books

Take note that a literature review forms the basis and provides background information about your research - some common mistakes students make is when they write a literature review that fails to meet its purpose.

Your literature review should NOT be an annotated bibliography , where you list and summarize a number of articles or academic works about your research topic. The literature review should identify important academic developments of your topic, and analyze them, so as to situate your own research in this background.

Your literature review should also NOT provide only a biased view , where you only choose articles that support your findings. Remember that a literature review needs to provide a picture of how the academic debate surrounding your research topic as developed, as well as areas that are being debated, so that you can position your research within the context of the wider academic discussion.

  • Searching Tools and Tips For a more in-depth guide on how to search for resources you need for your literature review, refer to this section of the guide.
  • University of Wisconsin Guide on Literature Review
  • University of Pittsburgh Guide on Literature Review

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Four major steps:

1.Problem definition

  • identify a research problem or idea
  • formulate research questions
  • identify relevant KEYWORDS

2.Search strategies

  • identify your information needs
  • develop information seeking strategies
  • identify relevant information sources
  • use KEYWORDS to conduct searches
  • retrieve relevant articles, books, etc.
  • review and summarise articles
  • take detailed notes
  • focus on identifying and comparing issues, variables, theories, methods and gaps
  • extract key information and tabulate key items in a matrix or summarised fashion
  • include pertinent variables, main issues and theories
  • analyse how your study relates to the available literature
  • highlight gaps in research works
  • compare and contrast studies and findings
  • create a list of references - a BIBLIOGRAPHY  

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Research is not done in a vacuum or in isolation. It has to be positioned into the existing scholarly work. The researcher needs to know what has already been covered in his/her field of research, like:

  • what variables were analysed?
  • what were the relationships amongst the variables?
  • what are the existing definitions, theories and findings?

Purpose of literature review

  • to explore the works of others
  • to look at existing relevant works in your research area
  • to identify important variables from other studies pertinent to your research
  • to identify gaps, misconceptions, contradictions in the issues relevant to your research
  • to assist in developing your research design

Literature review is an essential entity in research and is a part of:

  • dissertations
  • papers  
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  • Next: Grey Literature >>
  • Last Updated: Feb 21, 2024 5:02 PM
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You are expected to comply with University policies and guidelines namely, Appropriate Use of Information Resources Policy , IT Usage Policy and Social Media Policy . Users will be personally liable for any infringement of Copyright and Licensing laws. Unless otherwise stated, all guide content is licensed by CC BY-NC 4.0 .

Eduproject Topics


How to Write Literature Review for your Final Year Project (Chapter 2)

How to Write Literature Review for your Final Year Project (Chapter 2)

Steps on How to Write Literature Review for Your Final Year Project

After writing the introduction , which is chapter one or section one, the next most critical part of thesis writing is the literature review, known as chapter two or section two. The literature review is critical of thesis writing since it reveals what has been done in the extant literature. A literature review examines publications , research papers , and any other source materials pertaining to a specific concern, the field of knowledge, or concept and formed the basis, overview, and analysis of a research subject concerning the research gap under consideration. A literature review gives a detailed or comprehensive summary of major works and other publications on a specific subject. Academic peer-reviewed journals , publications, government reports, internet sites, and other sources may be included in the review. Each source is described, summarized, and evaluated in the literature review.

A literature review is divided into three major parts: conceptual review, theoretical review, and empirical review. The following subheadings show a step-by-step analysis and provide a detailed understanding of how a literature review should be written.

  • The literature should be broad enough to cover all of the necessary knowledge on the topic.
  • It must locate research and concepts that bolster a research question.
  •  it must be narrow enough to exclude unimportant information from the research topic
  • It must be carried out using credible sources.
  • The literature must also be relevant, recent and adequately referenced.

Step 1: Preambles

it is essential to state or give a little introduction in chapter two. This preamble introduces the reader to what should be expected in the chapter. A preamble is an opening summary, a foreword, an overview of the component of a statute, obligation, or the like that states the reasons for and the purpose of what following sections.  A preamble is an introductory and expressive statement in a thesis that outlines the intent and underpinning concept of the research. When introduced to the first research paragraphs, it narrates essential evidence relevant to the researcher’s intention.

Step 2: Conceptual Review

A comprehensive and detailed conceptual review necessitates the author identifying all conceivably essential and relevant papers (both empirical and conceptual) applicable to the realm under consideration. Conceptual review is seen as a methodology in which research is carried out by studying and interpreting previously available information about a particular topic . Conceptual research does not include any practical experiments. It has something to do with abstract concepts or ideas. For instance, while writing on the topic “ Branding and Firm Performance “, the following steps should be taken:

  • Determine the specific variables identified in this study and how they are connected. Some academic papers include the variables, and the key points may therefore serve a purpose. If these aren’t available, look for a summary of the research paper . If the variables are not explicitly stated in summary, return to the research methods or findings and discussion of the study to accurately identify the variables in this study and needed information. Here, the key variables are “Branding” and “Firm Performance.”
  • Explain what branding is about by looking at what different authors have said. Discuss various scholars opinions on the concept of “branding.” The first step here is to look at the meaning. Make sure current and relevant literature are used. This is 2021. It is expected that 80% of your literature cited must be between 2015-2021.
  • The dimensions of branding. Here, the measurement of branding or the components of branding should be discussed. The author should state how the study intends to measure branding and why those measures were adopted.
  • Write on “Firm Performance”. Consider what different studies have said about firm performance. Look at the different measures of firm performance, explain the different factors affecting firm performance and indicate how performance is used in the study.
  • Provide a link between your independent variable (Branding) and dependent variable (firm performance)
  • Create your conceptualization by combining the variables from the research papers you’ve read. Your statement of the problem or purpose of the study provides a starting point for writing it. In essence, your investigation will be sought to address a query that other investigators have not yet addressed. Your study should fill a knowledge gap.

Step 3: Theoretical Review

The theoretical review examines theoretical models (philosophies or entire theories), their interactions, the extent to which the theories have been investigated, and the development of new assumptions. The theoretical review consists of theories and models appropriate to the knowledge being considered and how they relate to the broader areas of knowledge. In this section, it is expected that the researcher will reveal all the theories relating to Branding and Firm Performance. It is also imperative that the author reveal the theories or theory on which the study is anchored from all the examined theories. The underpinning theory should be relevant to the discussion and gap the author seeks to address.

The theoretical framework enhances the research in the following areas.

  • An affirmative statement of fundamental propositions evaluates a study’s overall review of them.
  • The theoretical framework links the researcher to previously known information. You are provided with a foundation for your research objective and methods based on an existing theoretical view.
  • Conveying a study’s underlying concepts compels you to answer how and why questions. It enables you to progress from merely stating an existing behaviour to making assumptions about various facets of that phenomenon.
  • I am having a theory aids in identifying the limitations of those assumptions. A theoretical review specifies which key variables influence an exciting phenomenon. It informs you to investigate under what and how conditions those critical points could deviate.

Step 4: Empirical Literature Review

An empirical literature review investigates previous studies to answer a specific research question. The empirical review simply discusses the various studies research and recommendations for the future on your topic or people’s relevant literature comparable to your research work . Various researchers’ identities must be connected to their observations or statements. An empirical literature review, also known as a literature review, explores previous studies to answer a specific research question. The goal of the empirical review is to identify gaps in the literature. The empirical review is divided into three.

  • Developed Economies (Advanced Economies). Here the author is expected to examine all the literature done in the advanced countries on the topic in focus. The advanced countries include Canada, France, U.S.A, Britain and Italy.
  • Emerging Economies (Developing Countries): The literature from developing countries such as Brazil, India, Turkey, Malaysia, Indonesia, etc. should be considered in the study
  • The country where the study is carried out: For instance, Nigeria. Various studies carried out on the researches area of study in the country of origin should be considered.

It is critical to state here that the Literature review will provide the author and the reader with what variables and theories the author intends to use or has used. Hence, relevant literature should be considered and various arguments examined in this section.


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