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The Literature Review
"Literature" in this context means the significant writings on a topic (e.g. scholarly journal articles, government reports, conference papers, etc.)
A literature review (or lit review) is a component of the research process in which the researcher (you) synthesizes the ideas and arguments within the literature, as those ideas connect to your research question.
"At university you may be asked to write a literature review in order to demonstrate your understanding of the literature on a particular topic..." [READ MORE]
-- Courtesy QUT’s online writing center