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HLI/HTH 302: African-American Cinema

Literature Review

A literature review is a critical analysis and synthesis of existing research literature on a particular topic. It involves reviewing, summarizing, and evaluating the current state of knowledge in a specific field or subject, in your case a topic to one of the films or directors in class. The primary purpose of a literature review is to provide an overview of the relevant literature, identify gaps, and highlight key findings and trends.

Key to a literature review is that it is NOT the following

  • a summary of research sources
  • a grouping of broad, unrelated sources

The above definition highlights the words critical and synthesis because you are entering a scholarly conversation about your research topic, with a critical eye to similarities, differences, themes, and gaps in the knowledge that you will contribute with your paper.

Literature Review