Literature reviews

Research

Literature reviews start with literature searches - use your lecture notes or reading lists to begin the process, and then allow your range of research to grow as you make more connections between texts and other sources.

Remember that there is a huge amount of advice on how to carry out and evaluate your searches in the Research book.

Keep details of all sources
You will have to return to your books and write references for them all so make sure you keep details. At all stages of your literature search remember to note down details such as:

  • Author;
  • Year of publication;
  • Name and location of the publisher;
  • Page numbers for quotes or key ideas;
  • URL for webpages;
  • Journal details for articles or essays.

This will help if you find you need to go back to a reference you have used before. It is also essential in order to compile an accurate bibliography, which will be required when writing up your research.

Beware:

Whilst the abstract or publisher’s comments on the cover of a book give you some idea of the content, do not be tempted to use this material for the purpose of your review.

The information contained here is no more than a sales pitch to get you to buy/read the book. It is only by reading the core material that you can establish its worth and place it in context.