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Social Work: Literature Review

A helpful guide to using the Library's resources

Perdue OWL: Social Work Literature Review Guidelines

Literature reviews are designed to do two things: 1) give your readers an overview of sources you have explored while researching a particular topic or idea and 2) demonstrate how your research fits into the larger field of study, in this case, social work.

Perdue OWL: Writing a Literature Review

A literature review is a document or section of a document that collects key sources on a topic and discusses those sources in conversation with each other (also called synthesis). The lit review is an important genre in many disciplines, not just literature (i.e., the study of works of literature such as novels and plays). When we say “literature review” or refer to “the literature,” we are talking about the research (scholarship) in a given field. You will often see the terms “the research,” “the scholarship,” and “the literature” used mostly interchangeably.

Purdue Online Writing Lab. (n.d.). Social Work Literature Review Guidelines.

Sample Literature Reviews


Smart Student. (2021, March 14). LITERATURE REVIEW: Step by step guide for writing an effective literature review [Video]. YouTube.

Web Resources