According to the sixth edition of the APA Publication Manual, literature reviews organize, integrate and evaluate research or reviews on a particular topic to help clarify a specific question or problem. Your literature review should
Many students have problems narrowing down their topic and deciding what the best articles are to include in their review.
Sometimes it is better to start with a very broad topic of interest and narrow your focus as you do your research. This allows you to keep an open mind and pursue a specific area to research that you didn't know existed before.
You may find a lot of articles related to your topic. How do you choose the most relevant?
It is important to remember that literature reviews are not annotated bibliographies.
With annotated bibliographies you are basically summarizing individual articles, but with a literature review you are providing an overview of the literature in a particular area of research, which is more complex.
Journal articles are like a conversation where academics publish theories and empirical data and other academics publish their own articles where they may agree, disagree, or be inspired to publish new research that springboards from other articles.
Unlike annotated bibliographies, literature reviews focus on describing the relationships among the literature included in the review, rather than just providing a summary of individual articles.