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GSFS 400 Capstone: Engaging Fields of GSFS

A guide to help students conduct a literature review for their final capstone project

What are some examples of a literature review?

The literature review section is not always defined with the header Literature Review

It can also be found as part of the introduction or can be an independent section following the introduction.

Keep an eye out for a section that:

  • explains current trends in the literature,
  • points out gaps in the literature
  • identifies why the current study is important for the field
  • mention things such as "recent research mentions""recent literature finds""recent literature indicates"​​​​​​​, etc. 

Examples from the Gender Studies Database

The examples below of literature reviews are much more complex than the literature review you will be required to write in your capstone project. However, they do serve as nice examples of literature review structure and how cited textes relate to each other in a literature review.

  • List of results in the Gender Studies Database
  • These papers are entire literature reviews and more complex than your Capstone literature review. 

Examples in selected papers

To find additional examples of literature reviews, read attentively the literature review sections in the articles that you will / are reading in your subject areas. Here are a few examples that do not have clearly defined literature reviews, but the literature review is part of the introduction of the paper.

  • Levitt, H. M., Schuyler, S. W., Chickerella, R., Elber, A., White, L., Troeger, R. L., … Collins, K. M. (2020). How discrimination in adoptive, foster, and medical systems harms lgbtq families: research on the experiences of prospective parents. Journal of Gay & Lesbian Social Services, 32(3), 261–282.
    • The literature review of this paper is an integral part of the introduction
    • There is also a section titled Study objectives that clearly defines the goal of this paper following the introduction/literature review
  • Matsick, J. L., Kim, L. M., & Kruk, M. (2020). Facebook LGBTQ pictivism: the effects of women’s rainbow profile filters on sexual prejudice and online belonging. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 44(3), 342–361.
    • The literature review is semi-integrated into the introduction of this paper and is also in the section titled The Current Research. 
    • The goals of the paper are mentioned throughout the introduction. 
    • In the section Navigating Online Social Networks While Being LGBTQ the authors mention gaps in the research and how their study is going to contribute to closing this gap. 
  • Pham, J. M. (2020). Queer space and alternate queer geographies: lbq women and the search for sexual partners at two lgbtq-friendly u.s. universities. Journal of Lesbian Studies, 24(3), 227–239.
    • The introduction of this paper integrates the literature review. 
    • The purpose of this paper is also defined in the introduction. 

Examples in thesis and dissertations

To find additional examples of literature reviews, read attentively the literature review sections in McGill University produced thesis and dissertations. Here are a few examples directly from the McGill University Library’s institutional repository, eScholarship. 

Javanmard, R. (2021). Exploring Profeminist Masculinity Studies through Postmodern Literature: Youth Engagement, Fictional Practice and Feminist Pedagogy. M.A. Thesis. McGill University, Montréal

  • Literature review from page 11 to 32


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