My blog post, A Start-to-Finish Literature Review Workflow, is probably the most viewed thing on my website. It’s a great overview, especially for people new to writing lit reviews. I’m pretty proud of it.

But it’s incomplete.

I’ve had plans for a long time now to write a more advanced lit review tips post, as well as one with some variations and modifications on that workflow.

But today I need to talk about what’s on my mind right now, which is that theoretical and methodological lit reviews are really different from lit reviews that describe a body of research on a particular topic.

The general workflow still works for these kinds of lit reviews, but once you get to that concept mapping stage, things get a little different. So here are a few things you might consider for these types of lit reviews.

Theoretical Lit Reviews

Methodological Lit Reviews

I’m working on a literature review about affinity space ethnography/connective ethnography right now, and as I try to organize my thoughts, thinking about these things is helping me make sense of the tons of writing there is on ethnography more broadly.


Hine, C. (2000). Virtual Ethnography. SAGE.