This is the most common form of review in the social sciences.
Historical Review Few things rest in isolation from historical precedent.
First, there are the primary studies that researchers conduct and publish.
Second are the reviews of those studies that summarize and offer new interpretations built from and often extending beyond the primary studies.
Literature reviews are designed to provide an overview of sources you have explored while researching a particular topic and to demonstrate to your readers how your research fits within a larger field of study.
A literature review may consist of simply a summary of key sources, but in the social sciences, a literature review usually has an organizational pattern and combines both summary and synthesis, often within specific conceptual categories.
The purpose is to develop a body of literature that establishes a contrarian viewpoint.
Given the value-laden nature of some social science research [e.g., educational reform; immigration control], argumentative approaches to analyzing the literature can be a legitimate and important form of discourse.
For example, say you are arguing that Huck Finn is a Christ figure; that's your basic thesis.
A literature review surveys books, scholarly articles, and any other sources relevant to a particular issue, area of research, or theory, and by so doing, provides a description, summary, and critical evaluation of these works in relation to the research problem being investigated.