A literature review is an overview and synthesis of the literature related to the topic you are researching. It
surveys the literature in your chosen area of study.
synthesizes the information in that literature into a summary.
critically analyzes the information gathered by identifying gaps in current knowledge; by showing limitations of theories and points of view; and by formulating areas for further research and reviewing areas of controversy.
presents the literature in an organized way.
Royal Literary Fund https://www.rlf.org.uk/resources/what-is-a-literature-review/
Adapted from Royal Literary Fund https://www.rlf.org.uk/resources/what-is-a-literature-review/
This excellent overview of the literature review explains what a literature review and outlines processes and best practices for doing one. It includes input from an NCSU professor on what a literature review is and what it should do. (Shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 US license, attributed to North Carolina State University Libraries).