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The theoretical literature review helps to establish what theories already exist, the relationships between them, to what degree the existing theories have been investigated, and to develop new hypotheses to be tested. Should I provide subheadings and other background information, such as definitions and/or a history?
The purpose is to place research in a historical context to show familiarity with state-of-the-art developments and to identify the likely directions for future research.
Methodological Review A review does not always focus on what someone said [findings], but how they came about saying what they say [method of analysis].
For example, a book surveying the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict may include a chapter on the role Egypt has played in mediating the conflict, or look in the index for the pages where Egypt is mentioned in the text.
Some disciplines require that you use information that is as current as possible.
A well-done integrative review meets the same standards as primary research in regard to clarity, rigor, and replication.
This is the most common form of review in the social sciences.
Given the value-laden nature of some social science research [e.g., educational reform; immigration control], argumentative approaches to analyzing the literature can be a legitimate and important form of discourse.
However, note that they can also introduce problems of bias when they are used to make summary claims of the sort found in systematic reviews [see below].
The goal is to deliberately document, critically evaluate, and .
Typically it focuses on a very specific empirical question, often posed in a cause-and-effect form, such as "To what extent does A contribute to B?