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A literature review surveys scholarly articles, books and other sources (e.g. dissertations, conference proceedings) relevant to a particular issue, area of research, or theory, providing a description, summary, and critical evaluation of each work. The purpose is to offer an overview of significant literature published on a topic.
A good literature review will be well focused on the specific research question. The sources used will be currrent, relevant, authoratative, accurate, and from an unbiased perspective.
For Further Information, see UCSC's guide on writing a literature review.