How to Compile a Literature Review


When compiling a literature review, or piecing it together for presentation, there are several methods to take in to account for a professionally prepared review. You must make sure to coherently collate all of the necessary information in to a neat, easy to read reference list. This includes source materials such as books and novels, magazines, newspapers, articles, leaflets and paperwork, documentation; both digital and physical, interviews and reports.

Once you have properly collated all of your reference and source materials, you must ensure that your literature review flows like a professional literary document. There must be a clear introduction, a brief discussion on the internal aspects of your review, the aims and goals of your review if applicable, a concise exploration and evaluation of the subject discussed within your review and finally a conclusion.


A list of references is important to make as it displays the origin of your source materials and further demonstrates that you have made an effort to learn and understand what it is that you are reviewing. This list of references is usually compiled at the end of the review where credit is provided unless instructed otherwise by your examiner or reader.


Once your review has been properly compiled, you are able to decide on how it will be presented. The first method is to have your literature printed for a physical review. When printed, ensure to have all wording correctly spaced and that all pages are in their proper order. Stapling the document is not recommended as it can create a difficult when attempting to view certain parts of a page. The second method of compiling your literature review is to prepare it digitally by saving it to your computer, emailing the document to the recipient or transferring the contents to a USB or memory stick. With both methods you must ensure correct formatting and spacing throughout.