It is much more than a summary of all the related literature.
It is a type of writing that demonstrate the importance of your research by defining the main ideas and the relationship between them.
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.
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.
The literature review is an iterative process because you will do at least two of them: a preliminary search to learn what has been published in your area and whether there is sufficient support in the literature for moving ahead with your subject.
After this first exploration, you will conduct a deeper dive into the literature to learn everything you can about the topic and its related issues.
A good literature review lays the foundation for the importance of your stated problem and research question.
Literature reviews: The purpose of a literature review is to demonstrate that your research question is meaningful.