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Literature Reviews

This guide will you take you through the process of writing a literature review.

Literature Reviews in Different Contexts

Art History

Literature reviews in a historical subject like art history are more subtle than in other kinds of research.  They won’t be announced with a Literature Review heading.  They tend to naturally grow out of the article introduction, which may have other citations, perhaps references to primary sources relating to an art work, theme, or concept.   You’ll be able to tell where they start when there are references to other scholars or the literature.  But it should also be pointed out that many times, the art historian will continue to draw on sources throughout the article as they are relevant to the point they are making, so that the boundary between literature review and “results” of the research or the researcher’s argument is blurry.  This is the nature of the discipline, which is all about analyzing creative work formally and contextually rather than, say, conducting an experiment or running tests on data.

Grant Proposal

  • Many proposals require a literature review. Reviewers want to know whether you’ve done the necessary preliminary research to undertake your project. Literature reviews should be selective and critical, not exhaustive. Reviewers want to see your evaluation of pertinent works.

International Studies



Public Policy