Abstract - A brief digest, conveying the main message clearly, concisely and accurately. Write after the first draft of the review.
Introduction - Identify/explain the topic and why you have selected it for review, e.g.: No literature reviews in the field.
No recent reviews in an expanding field.
A rapidly developing field with much literature regularly published.
An innovation, sudden advance in knowledge, or a new perspective, requiring a different understanding of material in the field.
Presentation of data - Move from general background/standard theoretical works to more precise, recent works relevant to the topic. Identify salient issues.
Discussion - Comment on the material presented, identify issues. Do not introduce new material.
Be cool, detached, balanced, objective and non-judgmental. Be rational appeal to reason, not to the emotions. Do not be didactic - aim to illuminate the topic, not use it as a platform for fighting a cause.
Style and language:
- Use formal, plain English.
- Be concise and precise: use simple, straightforward sentences; avoid repetition and unnecessary padding; avoid vague generalisations.
- Be cautious: avoid expressions such as “always”, “never”, “undoubtedly”, “obviously”; make suggestions, refer to “possible” viewpoints.
- Avoid emotive, value-ridden language.
- Check grammar and syntax make clear the connections between ideas