A literature review is a means of demonstrating an author's knowledge about a particular field of study, including vocabulary, theories, key variables and phenomena, and its methods and history. Conducting a literature review also informs the student of the influential researchers and research groups in the field.
Randolph, Justus J. "A Guide to Writing the Dissertation Literature Review."Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation 14.13 (2009): 1-13.
Above is a general definition for what a literature review can encompass. It serves as a basis for the literature review assignment you have in this course. Here are some additional criteria for you to consider as you begin to consider research studies to use in the paper that you will write:
When you begin writing your literature review, it should be more than just a summary of what others have done. You need to interact with the research that you find.
What does this mean for you as a student researcher?
Hart, Chris. Doing a Literature Review: Releasing the Social Science Research Imagination. London: Sage Publications, 1998, p.27.