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Literature Reviews

Tips on writing a literature review

Researching Your Topic

There are two basic ways to find information once you start researching your topic:

  • citation searching 
  • subject-specific searching.

Citation searching 

Searching by citations is a useful way to find research directly related to your topic. In citation searching you use a work of scholarly literature to find more literature that was cited by that work or cites that work. Citation searching can be done two ways: 

  • Citation chasing
    • Looking at the Bibliography or References of an article or book that fits within your topic.
    • Looking in the "past" at work an article references.
  • Cited reference searching
    • Using a citation indexing service, like Google Scholar, to find research that cites a specific article or work.
    • Looking in the "future" at works that referenced a specific article. 

Using citations to search for scholarly literature can help you think more broadly about your research topic within the larger discipline, and help you answer the following questions:

  • Who/what are the big names and articles in this area?
  • Who is this research in conversation with?

Subject-specific searching

Searching within your subject area will give you more specific research that speaks to your own research topic. 

  • Use your subject library databases to find relevant and subject-specific databases.
  • Contact your subject librarian for a one-on-one session.