Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

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.