I just uploaded on Bb, as promised in class, one of my older papers, so you can see yet another example of a literature review. I’ve made comments on the side and highlighted text to draw your attention to the organization of the literature review, and how I used it to build an argument for the study.
Note that although the paper is about corporate presence on Facebook, there’s almost no research I review on that particular topic. Instead, I review research on closely related ideas. This is one common mistake students make: If they can’t find research on their particular topic (which is actually a very good thing!), they don’t look one level away, to topics that are related, but not quite identical.
A good literature review funnels ideas, concepts, methods, findings from several areas of research into this one thing, which becomes your research question. Speaking of research questions, if you don’t know what they look like, take a look at the slides below to see some examples. Ideally, your literature review should end in a specific research question.