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BIO 252 - Modeling Systems of Life

Literature Review

To write a literature review you need to synthesize the literature about your topic.  When you synthesize you draw conclusions about the findings in the literature so that you can identify how the literature addresses your research question.


  • Gather literature that addresses your research question/topic
  • Review literature and take notes: describe, summarize, analyze, and identify key concepts
  • Synthesize literature: compare & contrast, critically evaluate, interpret, so that you can draw conclusion

Writing a literature review

Lit Review 101 - Virginia Commonwealth University - Including a Word and Excel synthesis matrix

How to write a literature review in the Sciences - Monash University

Article in PLOS Computational Biology

Synthesizing Literature

Managing your references with Zotero