Literature Review: A Self-Guided Tutorial

Search the literature

3. Search the literatureIf you're working on a research project with a professor or faculty mentor, they may recommend books and articles to help you begin your reading of the literature. You can use these resources as a jumping off point for locating additional sources.


To locate additional materials, search databases in your subject area. Go to the A-Z list of databases and choose your subject area. The "Best Bets" are ones that are likely to have materials on any topic in that subject area. The other databases listed cover more specific or related areas of the subject. Read the description of those databases to determine which ones will be relevant for your research. (See video below for further information on choosing databases.)

A few suggestions as you search the literature:

  Before searching, brainstorm some keywords based on your topic.

  Search systematically and keep track of your search terms in a Research Log (make a copy).

  Save and organize the materials as you find them (see section #4).

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