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.
However, note that they can also introduce problems of bias when they are used to make summary claims of the sort found in systematic reviews [see below].
The analytical features of a literature review might: It is important to think of knowledge in a given field as consisting of three layers.
First, there are the primary studies that researchers conduct and publish.
“One study has shown that eyewitness errors are the most common cause of false convictions (ref.).
Almost all innocent individuals exonerated by DNA evidence had been convicted primarily as a result of erroneous eyewitness evidence (ref.) Consequently, a great deal of research has focussed on the unreliability of eyewitness testimony (refs.).” , such a narrow focus may not fully explain how people remember (ref.). Reviews the chronological development of research in this area (an approach that is useful at times, but not always the best).
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.
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.