1. Problem formulation -- which topic or field is being examined and what are its component issues?
2. Literature search -- finding materials relevant to the subject being explored.
3. Data evaluation -- determining which literature makes a significant contribution to the understanding of the topic.
4. Analysis and interpretation -- discussing the findings and conclusions of pertinent literature.
Literature reviews may group research based on:
How will I set the boundaries of the literature? What are my rules for considering an article fit for review?
What are the credentials of the authors of the sources I choose? Are their arguments supported by evidence?
Are the authors subjective? Did they consider both supporting and contrary data?
Have I included sources that offer alternative interpretations, or have I only chosen sources which validate my assumption?
Does the source contribute to the understanding of the topic?
How do these sources relate to my research question?