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A literature review shows that you have read, evaluated, and understood the research published on your topic. A literature review is structured to show your professors that you understand the work scholars have done in the past, and will serve as a jumping off point for whatever research you are conducting. It can either be a stand-alone document, or a section at the beginning of a research paper, master’s thesis, or other special project. Writing a literature review will require that you locate published research on your topic, read said scholarship, and write a description and evaluation of the works.