Skip to Main Content

How do I Write a Literature Review?: Step #4: Synthesizing Content

So, you have to write a literature review. Well, this is the best place to start!


"Synthesizing the literature" ---

means comparing themes, methods, findings, and inconsistencies within the articles you found, so that you can show how the articles relate to each other.

Synthesizing the information that you find in multiple articles can be difficult. It is important to analyze and organize the different perspectives, ideas, and methods that you encounter in your reading.

As you synthesize your research, look for these things:

  • The main purpose of each article and how it relates to your topic
  • Methods and findings discussed in the article
  • Similarities and differences among the authors


  • take a moment to reflect on the research you have,
  • what you have learned,
  • how the information fits into you topic,
  • and what is the best way to present your findings.


Some tips on how to organize your research-

  • Organize research by topic. Feel free to create subtopics as a means of connecting your research and ideas.
  • Consider what points from each topic you want to address in your literature review. This is the time to start thinking about what areas you will discuss in your review and what pieces of research you will use to support your conclusions.
  • After reviewing your notes, try summarizing the main points in one to two sentences.
  • Draft an outline of your literature review. Start with a point, then list supporting arguments and resources. Repeat this process for each of your paper's main points.