A literature review allows students to show previous research in a given area. It typically:
- Involves research. Students identify relevant material that they have discovered.
- Annotates main points and ideas from that research.
- Identifies patterns found from the main points and ideas. These patterns show the overall conversation.
- Prepares the writer for further work. The patterns show the conversation and how the student may now enter that conversation through an extended project.
A literature review prepares the writer for further work as well as gives the writer context for work already done. It can be organized around theme, subject matter, time, writer, and so on.