Ten tips to write a literature review in APA style

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The ability to present papers of high quality is one of the most crucial skills for any student. In this guide, we will give ten top tips that should assist with writing literature reviews of great impact.

The Complete Guide to Writing a Literature Review in APA Format

In this guide, we will offer ten main tips. They will include the following elements:

  1. Approaches to finding relevant sources;
  2. Main types of relevant sources;
  3. Proper structuring of the literature review essays;
  4. Ways to present citations properly;
  5. Analysis of existing referencing practices;
  6. Learning from the others;
  7. Review of the paragraph structure you should adopt;
  8. The necessity of proofreading;
  9. Importance of proofreading tools;
  10. The necessity of critical opinion;

Thus, you will get a more or less complete path to resolving the majority of your research problems.

How to Write a Literature Review Paper in APA Format

To write a literature review in APA, it is crucial to be extremely consistent. You have to concentrate on the thorough analysis of sources that are of high quality and write an original opinion piece from scratch. We will review all of the main features mentioned above to give you a full-scale insight into the paths of delivering an essay of high quality.

Tip 1. Finding relevant sources

The first thing you should consider while doing any form of literature review assignment is finding academic sources. Today, most of the professional information is available online. In this regard, we recommend concentrating on the following aspects:

  1. Library databases of various kinds: many college facilities offer subscriptions to expert services capable of providing all relevant data to the essay writers. In this regard, if you have access to resources of this kind, the option is the best approach for the majority of the students.
  2. Google Scholar and various open-source databases. The best website in case you don’t have access to college resources undoubtedly belongs to Google. Coupled with some other open databases, it can cover the majority of your writer needs.

Tip 2. Main types of relevant sources

While considering what type of sources to use for preparing a personalized literature review assignment, always think about the reliable types of information. In this regard, we recommend taking a look, above all, at the peer-reviewed articles. Various databases such as ScienceDirect typically give access to sources of this kind. They involve research checked by other scientists. Thus, it is bound to be of great assistance due to its significant quality. Another good type of source includes books from professionals. Check author biography and whether the source has a bibliography. Typically, this is enough to write a paper on a good collection of literature.

Tip 3. Structure your review well

To structure your review well, you should include the following elements:

  1. Introduction that describes the main goals of the written text;
  2. Description of the main themes (rather than individual sources) of the papers you analyze;
  3. Conclusion that provides the main implications of the written research.

All in all, the overall approach is very similar to the traditional types of essays.

Tip 4. Presenting citations properly

One of the best approaches to consider in this case is the concentration on paraphrasing. A big mistake that many of the newcomers do concerning the literature reviews is citing too much information from the analyzed literature. In this way, your review may turn into a custom summary rather than a full-scale analysis of the existing data. Our main recommendation, in this case, is to deliver direct citations only in the most critical cases. Instead, when describing some vital information, try to give your interpretation. In this way, you will show a significant degree of critical thinking.

Tip 5. Referencing practices

Among the primary ways to learn about the key practices for citing information in APA is to look at the Purdue Owl website. It gives all the key data on the citing conventions within the format for free. In this regard, the key tip we can give is the following: find the main authors of the papers and the year when it was produced. Then simply add (depending on whether a source has one, two, or three+ authors) the following references: (Johnson, 2020), (Johnson & Jackson, 2020); or (Johnson et al., 2021). Afterward, simply format the majority of your citations via websites such as Citation Machine. Using their convenient interfaces, you can quickly form a very large pool of references for use.

Tip 6. Learn from the others

Another great option is to learn from others. In this regard, we recommend looking at the following options:

  1. Essay bank companies that give a service of looking at top English essays in the USA;
  2. An essay writing company that gives an opportunity to buy cheap help for an average customer.

Using such options, you will be able to order examples that can then be of great use for improving your writing skills. In this respect, we heavily recommend a professional company named CustomWritings which provides students with literature review writing services online.

Tip 7. Consider proper paragraph structure

We recommend thoroughly thinking about the way you approach paragraphs. In this respect, the average material should look this way: 

  1. Introduction;
  2. Body with citations according to the Introduce, Cite, Explain formula;
  3. Conclusion.

This approach is tried and tested. It works in the majority of the essays.

Tip 8. Proofread

An important factor to consider is proofreading. Here, your main goal is to ensure that the paper is impeccable. We recommend reading through every part of the available material at least two or three times. Pay special attention to the names of the cited authors. Practice shows that errors in this regard are extremely common, so don’t forget to mind them.

Tip 9. Use proofreading tools

While checking everything by yourself is a strong option, using some outside help is also a great idea today. Concerning this issue, we recommend concentrating on the following types of software:

  1. Grammarly. This proofreading service can check many of your errors for free;
  2. Language Tool. Here, you can also proofread your essay in a potent way. This service is weaker than Grammarly but it offers a path to double-check several languages so it is great for non-English students.

Tip 10. Critical opinion and its necessity

The last factor you should consider is the importance of critical opinion. The greatest mistake, as mentioned previously, in literature reviews is the inability of the authors to give their opinions. You should analyze the sources instead of describing them. Find themes and tendencies instead of internal content. This aspect is much more important than any APA formatting.