A literature review (also called a research review or review of the literature) is a summary of existing research on a topic. It reviews the scholarly "literature" on that topic. It is often a preliminary part of a publication where the author identifies and comments on previous attempts to answer a related research question.
Sample student literature review, with instructions
Sample APA Papers: Literature Review
from Purdue Online Writing Lab
Sample professional literature reviews
School-based obesity interventions: a literature review. Journal of School Health, 78(4), 189-196.
Davies, D., Jindal-Snape, D., Collier, C., Digby, R., Hay, P., & Howe, A. (2013). Creative learning environments in education—A systematic literature review. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 8, 80–91. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tsc.2012.07.004
Wohlrab, S., Stahl, J., & Kappeler, P. M. (2007). Modifying the body: Motivations for getting tattooed and pierced. Body Image, 4(1), 87-95. doi:10.1016/j.bodyim.2006.12.001
Literature Reviews from UNC Chapel Hill
Undertaking a Literature Review from British Journal of Nursing, 2002
Include "literature review" or "review of the literature" in your search
(Sample search in Education Research Complete. Click on Choose Databases to add additional databases to your search, like ERIC, Academic Search Premier, PsycInfo, SocIndex, Sport Discus)
Use an Advanced Search in the databases and use your keyword(s) and "literature n5 review*" as shown in the above example.
This search looks for the words literature, review, reviewer, reviews, reviewing within 5 words of each other in any order.
Or, search for "literature reviews" in the subject field, as in the example below.
In PsycInfo, you can limit your search to Methodology=literature review
In ProQuest Central, it's n/4 or n/5 instead of n4 or n5. See the example.