When writing, no matter the subject, reason, or form having an outline always makes things simpler, and clearer. Whether writing a book, a dissertation, a research paper, or a literary review, the process of creating an outline, and the outline itself both serve to keep the writer on task, and on subject. While outlines are not strictly required, being in the habit of completing an outline before beginning any project also promotes good writing habits, and improves technical skill. Also, while creating a literature review outline template may take time, it will save much more time later.
A literary review is a survey of the body of work done within a specific field. This is different than a research paper in that a literary review does not add anything new to the field. It simply collects the major and contributing work already done, and presents the body of work as it is. The three main components you’ll need to complete before beginning your outline are the Theme, Thesis, and Source Material.
Theme: A statement that presents the central theme of the literary review.
Thesis statement: This is not the same as the thesis statements made in research papers, or scientific articles. A thesis statement within a literary review should present the theme, debate, or trend that makes up the topic of the literary review. This statement indicates the trend to be addressed rather than presenting a new idea or theory.
Sources: This is an outline of all of the collected research for the literary review. An organized and compiled list of source material makes notations easier in the writing process.
After the theme has been decided, a thesis statement developed, and the research collected, the outline can be completed. The general lay-out of a literary overview is simple, and to the point.
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Here are some templates to help you.
Literature Review Outline Template
Sample Literature Review Outline
Paper Literature Review Outline Template
Literature Review Outline Template for PDF
Project Management Literature Review Sample
Research Literature Review Example for PDF Format
Scientific Literature Review Outline
Literature Review Chapter Outline Example
Writing the Literature Review (PowerPoint)
How to Write a Literature Review Outline
Tips for Writing a Literature Review Outline
- Control – The Literary Review Outline is just an outline. It’s not a rigid frame that can’t be adjusted. Once you’ve started writing your Literary Review you’ll likely want to adjust your outline a little bit which is perfectly acceptable. Don’t worry about getting the outline perfect before writing. Just completing a draft outline can work wonders in organizing the thought processes that drive the Literary Review.
- A time and place – Creating the Literary Review Outline should only be done after all of the relevant resources, and data has been collected and organized. You can’t outline what you don’t know about.
- The most difficult part – The most difficult part of writing a Literary Review is usually the thesis statement. Often, the Thesis Statement is a statement of a proposed theory. However, with the Literary Review, this is just a simple phrase that explains, as succinctly as possible, what the main topic of the Literary Review will be. Completing the Thesis Statement will help to guide the contents of the Literary Review Outline. Since the thesis statement within the outline is just for you, to start with, this statement can be something as simple as the subject matter, and no more. This need not be difficult, intricate, or time consuming.