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Library Basics: Narrowing and Broadening Your Topic!

Selected resources for choosing a topic and searching the databases

Nuts & Bolts - Literature Review Resources

A literature review surveys published literature on a specific topic or research question and is designed to analyze scholarly writings by others that are directly related to one’s research question. It represents literature that provides background information on your topic and shows a correspondence between those writings and your research question.  

  • It is not a summary of literature, rather it is a synthesis of literature.
  • It is not a research paper where you select resources to support one side of an issue versus another, rather it is an objective explanation of all sides of an argument in order to avoid bias.

Why it is important

  • Explains the background of research on a topic.
  • Demonstrates why a topic is significant to a subject area.
  • Helps focus one’s research questions or issues or problems being addressed.
  • Suggests unexplored ideas or populations.
  • Discovers relationships between research studies/ideas.
  • Identifies major themes, concepts, and researchers on a topic.
  • Identifies critical gaps, or potentially flawed methodology or theoretical approaches.
  • Indicates potential directions for future research.

    ***Use a citation manager to collect and organize your citations. 


***Maybe we do not have the article, the, books or other materials you are looking for, you can request the article or material for free via interlibrary loan.

  • Use the search box to look for books for your topic by using concepts or keywords that describe your topic
  • Or browse by  discipline or subdiscipline
  • *** Please make sure you uncheck the box  " Include Preview -Only Content"  to see the titles in our collection.  



For additional resources, browse the library A-Z database and resource list by subject or by purpose.

Google Scholar Search

Your Librarian

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Maud Mundava