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Literature Review - Finding the Resources

This guide assists you in finding the resources for your literature review

What is a literature review?

A literature review is a survey of the most relevant and significant academic research on a particular topic in order to reflect the current state of knowledge in the field and the key questions raised. It is an essential part of your research process to show what you know about a topic.

To write a literature review, you do not report the literature out there, but

  • synthesize the literature,
  • analyze the relationship between the literature (the concepts, arguments, etc.), and
  • form your own evaluation of and perspective on the literature you read.

Information literacy - the skills you need to conduct literature review

In order to be able to write a good literature review, you need to develop skills in various areas, such as information literacy, synthesizing skills and writing skills. This guide will focus on the first area - information literacy, and let you acquire or improve the ability to:

  • Identify and effectively locate needed literature           
  • Critically evaluate the sources of literature
  • Ethically use these sources.

How to use this guide?

Click on the tabs on the left side of this guide to access the corresponding pages:

  • The "Literature" - the literature you need for your literature review
  • Search Tools - the appropriate tools to start your search
  • Search Techniques - the search skills to apply to find relevant resources effectively
  • Keeping Track - the ways to keep track of the resources
  • Evaluating Sources - the methods to ensure that the resources you find are good enough
  • Citing Sources - the ways to let your readers find the sources you use in your literature review and to prevent plagiarism
  • More Information - further reading on literature review and research methods; more help that you can get (e.g. Interlibrary Loan Services)


This guide was compiled based on some of the ideas and materials created by Capella University