A graduate student might do an exploratory review of the literature before beginning a synoptic, or more comprehensive one.
Examples of an Exploratory Review: A type of literature review limited to a single aspect of previous research, such as methodology.
Pick up nearly any book on research methods and you will find a description of a literature review.
At a basic level, the term implies a survey of factual or nonfiction books, articles, and other documents published on a particular subject.
As a study of the research on a particular topic, it is arranged by key themes or findings, which may lead up to or link to the research question.
In some cases, the research question will drive the type of literature review that is undertaken.
There are many different types of literature reviews, however there are some shared characteristics or features.
Remember a comprehensive literature review is, at its most fundamental level, an original work based on an extensive critical examination and synthesis of the relevant literature on a topic.
You will need to search the cognate literature before claiming there is “little previous research” on your topic.
Well developed literature reviews involve numerous steps and activities.