How to Do a Literature Review

Some people are intimidated by the fact that they have to write a literature essay. They try in vain to do away with the assignment by procrastinating until the very final minute. Note, however, that this fear stems from apprehension with whether or not they are going to make sense rather than their actual ability to write. So if you suffer from the same fear, sit down and take heed. The only remedy to this fear is by writing.

Structure of the Literature Review

Begin by providing a brief background of the subject book. When and where did it get published? What were the prevailing political conditions at the time of its publication? How did the public react to the book? By providing these details, you are able to provide a necessary historical and political context to the book itself, making it easier for you to raise your substantial points later on.

A description of the principal characters should be made, too. You don’t need to write a lengthy profile of each of these characters; basic descriptions of who these people are, how they are associated with each other, and what they do will allow your reader to have a picture of the characters populating the subject book.

The meat of your discussion should delve on the main conflict in the book. Know that there is always a conflict in every book and it is up to you to determine what it is. It is precisely this conflict that glues everything together. Without this conflict, the book wouldn’t be what it is, so you should be able to pinpoint this conflict and expound on it.

Writing the Conclusion

As you read along, you will realize that there are actually recurring themes in the book. Take note of these and include them in your literature review. Whether it’s forgiveness, courage, the strength of family ties, or the struggle of living, cite these themes and discuss their importance.

As you wind up your discussion, you may want to integrate a few more points about the author’s writing style and the message he is trying to evoke through his book. And finally, do not write a literature review ending without underscoring your own appreciation of the book.