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Literature Reviews

Literature Review Rubric

The rubric below is one way you might evaluate the quality of your literature review. Check with your instructor for more specific guidance.





Problem Statement/Introduction

Did not present the topic to be examined

Presented the topic and the research need

Topic is clearly defined and context for research is provided

Organized Progression

Report has no clear direction and subtopics are not connected

Basic flow of ideas but not all sections follow a logical order

Report goes from general to specific; transitions relate to sections

Coverage of Content

Major works omitted; significance to field not clear; criteria for inclusion not presented

Major works included but not covered in adequate depth; significance of selected resources discussed

Appropriate resources examined and covered in depth; significance of research critiqued

Synthesis of Ideas

Did not attempt to synthesize the information or discuss the topic in the broader context of the scholarly literature

Some analysis and synthesis of ideas; discussed the history and relationships among key points found in the literature

Clear analysis and synthesis presented; demonstrated insight into problem; conclusions strongly supported

Clarity of Writing

Ideas not expressed clearly; misspellings, incorrect grammar and punctuation

Writing is clear but not concise; paragraph or sentence structure repetitive or awkward

Writing is clear and concise; ideas are well-developed and coherent

Citations & References

Works cited were not listed for in-text citations or works cited included resources not mentioned in the report

Citations within text and in corresponding reference list were included with some formatting problems

In-text citations and reference list citations were complete and properly formatted


Adapted from Janet Rex's guide ( and Boote, D.N. & Biele, P. (2005). Scholars before researchers: On the centrality of the dissertation literature review in research preparation. Educational Researcher. 34(6) p. 8. Content in this box used with permission from Hannah Gascho Rempel at OSU Libraries.


Citing Sources & Bibliographies

Citation involves properly crediting the authors of information sources used in a paper or presentation. Regardless of whether you are directly quoting or paraphrasing a source, provide the proper citation. 

The Libraries "Help with Citing Sources" page provides access to several quick citation guides according to style (MLA, APA). Below are suggestions for full style manuals available in the library collection.

Full Style Manuals
Most citation questions can be answered with the quick guides above. For more specific questions, refer to these full manuals, or consult a librarian.