Educational Leadership

last modified 2019-08-14T16:49:20-04:00


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Literature Review

Definition & Purpose

A literature review is... 

  • a summary and evaluation of the significant research published on a topic
  • organized in a way that shows the relationship between research studies, as well as the way each has contributed to an understanding of the topic
  • a secondary source because it is an overview of existing research on the topic

The purpose of a literature review is to...

  • familiarize the reader with relevant literature and research in an area of study
  • demonstrate relationships among the prior research
  • inform the reader what has already been discovered to avoid duplication
  • identify gaps and discrepancies in the literature

Overview and Planning



Research Design & Writing your Dissertation


  • The Encyclopedia of Research Design (© 2010) is a collection of entries for users who want to learn more about a particular research concept or technique (such as “control group” or “reliability”). Users can search the Encyclopedia for specific information or browse the Reader’s Guide to find topics of interest. For readers who want to pursue a topic further, each entry ends with both a list of related entries in the Encyclopedia and a set of further readings in the literature, often including online sources.
  • The SAGE Encyclopedia of Qualitative Research Methods presents current and complete information as well as ready-to-use techniques, facts, and examples from the field of qualitative research in a very accessible style. The entries cover every major facet of qualitative methods, including access to research participants, data coding, research ethics, the role of theory in qualitative research, and much more--all without overwhelming the informed reader.