What Does a Literature Review Look Like in APA?

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Writing Advice for College Students

Lora Jonson is an active guest post writer and she works as a content manager. She believes that her articles help people to be more productive and achieve success in their life. Besides, she is interested in painting, traveling and self-improvement. Her life credo is “Be, do and have what you’re here for.”

Writing a literature review is as much about content as it is about format. If you get the required format wrong, you might be wasting a lot of time. Knowing what does a literature review look like in a APA requires some research. Look at a few examples to get a good understanding of what the end product should look like. A lot of work will go into this review and you don’t want to be held back by something like format.

Heading

An apa lit review should include a significant amount of headings. This will help guide the reader as to the points of discussions. Use different tiers to distinguish between subheadings. Some literature reviews don’t have this requirement, but APA style does. If this is the first time you are writing this type of formatted review, take note of this point.

Fonts and spacing

Times New Roman is the font of choice for this format. Most of the content will be written in this font, but some writers use a different font for the headings. You have to make sure that it is easily readable and not anything too unprofessional. Double spacing is the general requirement and should be used in any APA literature review.

Good use of language

This should go without saying, but a literature review should have excellent use of the language you write it in. There is not much room for error. Have a good sense of grammar usage and spelling mistakes should not be present. There are so many grammar and spelling checkers you can use online for free. Have a set of tools available to check all of these issues before you submit. Your review might be great, but if your language use is poor, it takes away from the quality of your writing.

List of references

Pay close attention when you compile your list of references. Make sure you have a template to use in the right format. There won’t be too many references in a literature review, but you have to add a separate page to list the ones you did use. This is common practice for most literature reviews. You just have to adjust your format.

Conclusion

Come up with a compelling conclusion. This needs to be in-between a summary and a final thought on the subject. Finding that balance is challenging, but it is a necessity to the project. A literature review conclusion is the last thing the reader will remember. This is the last chance you had to make a convincing statement. A literature review is not about criticising the writer. It’s more in-depth than that. You have to actually back up everything you say in the review.

Add value

In your APA literature review, you want to add value to the reader. Don’t assume that the reader does not know much about the topic. You can cover the basics, but you also need to go more into detail. Just giving a quick overview is not going to cut it. There is a lot you can say about a topic, but it is more about what you can prove to be true.

Final thoughts on APA Literature Reviews

The hard work you put into a review always pays off when you get it done. It is not an easy task, but it is doable. You have to start at point A and work your way through the process. Don’t look at it as a whole or you will be overwhelmed. You also do not have to sound overly professional when writing a review. Stick to simple language the reader can understand. This is usually the most common mistake. You need to get your message across and using big confusing words is not how it is done. Readers prefer you writing in a way where they get the full concept of what you are trying to say.

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