Overview/Process E-Lecture



 A literature review is an assessment of a body of research that addresses a research question.


  A literature review:

  • Identifies what is already known about an area of study

 It may also:

  • Identify questions a body of research does not answer     
  • Make a case for why further study of research questions is important to a field


  It is a research journey with several steps:

  • Framing a research question
  • Searching relevant bodies of literature
  • Managing search results
  • Synthesizing the research literature
  • Writing an assessment of the literature

 The process is iterative—as you gain understanding, you’ll return to earlier steps to     rethink, refine, and rework your literature review.

Process E-Lecture

The slide deck of the E-Lecture is available here.

Definition & Purpose E-Lecture

Student & Faculty Voices (2:52)


This guide was produced under a Harvard University CIO Library Information Technology Fellows program grant (2011-2012):

Project Management and Content Development: Deborah Garson (Project Head) & Carla Lillvik
Library Instructional Technology Fellow: Erin Sisk, Ed.M.'12
E-Lecture Narrators: Eve Ewing and Marc Johnson, Ed.D. Candidates

Special thanks to the students and faculty of the Harvard Graduate School of Education; the staffs of the Gutman Library Research Services and of the Learning Technologies Center; and our colleagues at NC State Libraries.


Creative Commons License

Unless an exception applies, certain textual content on this web page is subject to a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The Harvard Library CC BY License allows anyone to share and adapt that content as long as proper attribution is given and the license terms are followed. For information about what is covered by the CC BY license, as well as general exceptions, see the Harvard Library CC BY Copyright Statement.