I have a paper which is a literature review about a specific topic. How can I reference some texts from this literature review if I want to paraphrase that in my research proposal for PhD?

2 Answers 2


If it is a small quote (1 or 2 sentences) you can put it between quotation marks " ... "

If you want to quote a paragraph, the most used ways is to indent the text you quoted sometimes with or without quotation marks.

However, I beleive the previous two cases are only necessary when you need the exact wording. Although it might be necessary some times but it is usually not the case. You can reword the important part you want and cite the review article. An even better way is to check the original research paper that the literature review cited then you cite that ( unless what you needed was a critical analysis done by the literature review author)

  • I agree, and I'd add that the best idea is to cite the literature review as providing a useful overview of the literature, and then go into depth about the most important papers, reading the originals and also citing them directly. Commented Mar 29, 2018 at 1:05

If we wish to point readers towards a large body of work which you do not want to discuss in detail use the same citation style as for any other citation, but preceded by "reviewed in" e.g. (reviewed in Smith et al, 2016).

If you want to discuss ideas or conclusions first expressed in a review, use exactly the same citation style you would you for primary material.

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