Not all research articles contain an explicit review of the literature, but many do, whether it is a discrete section or indistinguishable from the rest of the Introduction.
When a literature review exists as part of an introduction to a study, it follows the structure of the Introduction itself and moves from the general to the specific—presenting the broadest background information about a topic first and then moving to specific studies that support your study, finally leading to your hypothesis statement.
The literature is often indistinguishable from the Introduction itself—the literature is INTRODUCING the background and defining the gaps your study aims to fill.
The literature review published as its own article presents and analyzes as many of the important texts in an area of study as possible to provide background information and context for a current area of research or a study.
Step 1: Choose a topic to write about—focus on and explore this topic.
Choose a topic that you are familiar with and highly interested in analyzing; a topic your intended readers and researchers will find interesting and useful; and a topic that is current, well-established in the field, and about which there has been sufficient research conducted for a review.
They can also exist as part of a larger work or stand on their own.
The two types of literature reviews commonly found in journals are those introducing research articles (studies and surveys) and stand-alone literature analyses.
They can differ in their scope, length, and specific purpose.
The literature review found at the beginning of a journal article is used to introduce research related to the specific study and is found in the Introduction section, usually near the end.