A literature review should begin with a thorough literature search using the main keywords in relevant online databases such as Google Scholar, Pub Med, etc.
Once all the relevant literature has been gathered, it should be organized as follows: A literature review should not be a mere recounting of all the available information.
In this sense, it essentially forms the first experiment of any research project.
The more extensive the review, the more precise and systematic the research project will be.
The purpose of writing a literature review is to establish your authority in your research.
Without that established credibility, your research findings are dismissed as nothing but your opinions founded on some basic methodologies.
Remember that just having read a dissertation or conference paper doesn’t count – you must critique it – what worked, what didn’t, what would you do differently?
Your reader should reach the end of your literature review with a sense of full comprehension as to how your proposed study fits together with the current body of published work: If your reader can’t figure out what you’re doing in relation to what has come before you, your literature review has failed both as a stand-alone piece of academic work and as a building block for your overall study.
Develop relationships that make sense within that framework and organize your review around ideas not tenuous links by researcher or subject or chronology.
Only include the material that you actually read – cutting and pasting someone else’s bibliography will come back to bite you later – especially if you have to do an oral defense and someone asks for your thoughts on a specific article or study.