A narrative or traditional literature review is a comprehensive, critical and objective analysis of the current knowledge on a topic. They are an essential part of the research process and help to establish a theoretical framework and focus or context for your research. A literature review will help you to identify patterns and trends in the literature so that you can identify gaps or inconsistencies in a body of knowledge. This should lead you to a sufficiently focused research question that justifies your research.
Onwuegbuzie and Frels (pp 24-25, 2016) define four common types of narrative reviews:
References and additional resources
Machi, Lawrence A. & Brenda T. McEvoy (2016), The Literature Review: Six steps to success. 3rd edition.; Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.
Onwuegbuzie, A. J. & Frels, R. (2016) 7 steps to a comprehensive literature review: A multimodal & cultural approach. London: Sage Publications.