State-of-the-art research papers: Literature reviews

The general aim is to provide an overview of key theories, models, and previous research on the subject. The review/analysis section is generally a comparative/analytical review of field-specific areas of literature. The discussion section contains authorial interpretations, i.e. insights are highlighted and discussed in light of the body of research as a whole.


Cover Page
(Confidentiality note when applicable)
Declaration of Authenticity and word count
Management Summary
Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
    • What is the overall subject of the research?
    • What business-related issues will be addressed?
    • What is the aim of the research and what is your research question?
    • What is the structure and scope of the paper?
  2. Method
    • What literature are you reviewing?
    • What were your search criteria (i.e. all articles in the top 3 journals on marketing; traceability is included in the title, abstract or key words, 2015-2020)?
    • How much material do you have (any exclusions, why)?
    • On what basis will you review/critically assess this literature (concrete criteria)?
  3. Findings and Discussion (depending on the paper, these sections may be two separate sections)
    • Overview (and comparison) of previous research
  4. Conclusion
    • How do your findings connect to your overall research aim / RQ (i.e. return to your objectives)?
    • What insights does this overview (and comparison) provide?
    • How transferable are your results? What are the limitations of your research?
    • What research gaps have been underscored? How might future research build on where previous research left off?

Reference list
List of Tables and Figures

Word count

The word count includes all of the text from the introduction through the end of the conclusion, including footnotes. The reference list, appendix, cover page, confidentiality note, declaration of authenticity, abstract, table of contents, and list of tables and figures are all excluded from the word count.