How do you write a literature review without freaking out?

| April 20, 2011

Answer: You start by reading my blog  :)

If you’re anything like me, the second I see the words “literature review” on a syllabus, my mind lets out a series of silent screams. Alright, I’m being a little overdramatic here, but the truth is, lit review writing can be tough, especially if you haven’t had a lot of practice with it in undergrad.  No need to fear you anxious TC student; we’ve got some great people and resources available to calm our lit review anxieties.

This is a beginners guide……so, the following will review 2 things: 1) Where to get info to write a literature review and 2) How to find literature reviews.  All of this info was retrieved from the Gottesman Libraries’ Knowledge Database which is found in the drop-down menu at the top of the library home page.

Where to get info to write a literature review:

1) Visit the Purdue Online Writing Lab

2) Visit Harvard’s Graduate School of Education page

3) Search Educat for how to books.  Click here for books at TC

How to find a literature review:

1) Use the databases to look for examples (ex. ERIC).  Use keywords like: literature review, lit review, review of literature, model, etc.

2) The following databases allow you to find lit reviews in the following ways…

  • Education Research Complete: “Using the Advanced Search feature, you can select “Literature Review” from the Document Type menu.”
  • APA PsychExtra: “Choose the fielded search option on the left-hand side of the page. Within this page use the “Limit To” tool and limit to “Methodology.” Then choose “Literature Review” from the menu.”
  • ERIC: “Using the Advanced Search feature, you can select “Information Analyses” from the Document Type menu. This heading encompasses literature reviews.”

3) Look at Handbooks of… (ex. Handbook of Research on the Education of Young Children) and the annual publication Review of Research in Education

4) Try to search for “literature review” in Pocketknowledge to find examples written by TC students

And finally, feel free to make an appointment with a librarian! Click here

Happy researching! We’re here to help!