Literature Review in Psychology

To go about writing a psychology literature review, one method is to select a research area, read through related studies, and organize them in a manner that is meaningful. Another approach is to choose an overall point or theme1) , and then choose the studies. Nevertheless, the primary objectives of a literature review are to describe the work for a particular research area and assess the work.

Learning how to evaluate a piece of writing mainly needs the identification of relationships, incongruities, disparities, and irregularities in the literature, as well the recommendation of the next steps required to solve a research problem. The literature review of psychology compares research concerning assumptions on the research question, the experimental methodology, the data assessments, and the conclusions. No need to wonder about literature review how to write, Custom-Writing prepared the basic information that is needed.

Literature Review in Psychology

Literature Review: Psychology

Articles to Review

Review articles meant for publication can cite2) greater than a hundred studies. For an example of literature review for research proposal in a psychology course3) , professors need less than 20, around 5 to 15. Nonetheless, writing a literature review that is not exhaustive means that a psychology student must be discerning in selecting the articles.


It does not matter if a researcher has so many psychology literature review topics. He or she still has to adhere to strict requirements of length. Case in point, for student papers, they are customarily 8 to 20 pages and double-spaced4). However, rules can differ.


If it is needed to know how to write a psychology literature review, the best way possible is to organize the paper by underscoring the central theme. Even though there are no two reviews that have the same look, the organization is more or less the same:

  • Introduction of the research question5)
  • Narrowing of the research question
  • Short outline of the paper’s organization
  • Detailed description of the studies
  • Comparison and evaluation of studies
  • Discussion of the implications of the studies


If one looks at any sample of a literature review paper6) , titles serve as a delineation of the main parts of the paper, showing organization. As a researcher writes his or her draft, headings can point towards organizational challenges. Notably, they are helpful only if they are quite detailed. Case in point, “Psychological Abnormalities in the Renaissance Era” sounds better than “Psychological Abnormalities.”

There must also be an adherence to the APA format in psychology7) for when formatting papers and headings.

Psychology Literature Review: How to Write

  • When drafting an introduction8) , begin with the research question. Afterward, eventually, narrow it and lastly, mention the particular research lines of discussion. There must be a quick establishment of the movement of topic-to-topic, steering clear of rapid jumps that will lose the reader.
  • As a psychology literature review example, every article must go through a comparison. This is important because sole descriptions are not that helpful. There can be comparisons of research speculations, results interpretation, results garnered, instructions, used equipment, selection of variables, research designs9) , hypotheses, research assumptions, and research theories.
  • According to the comparisons, there would be an evaluation of the work, including a statement of strengths, weaknesses, and open items. Any assertions from any literature review sample indicate that they must have a support of data. Afterward, researchers recommend studies in the future and how they would influence work going forward10) .

Tips on Writing a Psychology Literature Review

  • Do not begin writing too early. Appropriate a lot of time for reading and research. If a researcher begins to soon, there is a tendency to freeze or to go around in circles.

Tips on Writing a Psychology Literature Review

  • Go for breaks. Allow some time to step away from the work to gain a fresher perspective. If available, a researcher can ask a peer to read the review.11) A more challenging literature review needs around three drafts.
  • Make use of particular language and give support to arguments through concretized examples. Eliminate vague references such as “this.” Those sentences that start with “I feel” typically signals unsupported statements and must be deleted or edited.
  • Ensure the use of paraphrases and not quotes. For scientific writing, the paraphrasing12) is more typical than quotes.
  • Evaluate the report by synthesizing the research, not describing it. Many writers think it is easy to provide particular descriptions but are so far away from assessing the actual work of the best psychologists. Evaluation needs more thought and is riskier, yet without evaluation, the review would read just like a book report.
  • Avoid any plagiarism13). It is easy to eliminate as long as there is a crediting of sources. Whenever there is a use of another person’s ideas or their language14) , there should be an indication of the author and the publication year.

A psychology literature review may be a daunting task, but through preparation and reading, any psychology professional or student can hurdle it.

About us