So, the lit review is an integral part of the research process that helps you:
fully understand your topic
develop your own research ideas
demonstrate your knowledge
Photo Credit: UO Communications
It's part of what's called the "scholarly conversation," the network of research studies that tell the story of relationships and connections in a discipline. Your research will become part of this conversation.
Literature reviews may appear as the introduction to a journal article or as an in-depth "review article" or as part of a graduate student's dissertation or thesis. Literature Reviews can also be published as a standalone publication, for example see Tewell's A Decade of Critical Information Literacy: A Review of the Literature).