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Literature Reviews - Social Sciences & STEM

This library guide will support you as you work on conducting and writing a literature review as part of the research process.

About This Guide

Welcome to the Library Guide for Literature Reviews!

This guide is here to support you as you learn about how literature reviews are integral to conducting research in the social sciences and STEM fields. Before you dive into learning about literature reviews, we encourage you to start with the Research Tutorial to refresh your knowledge of library research. The Side Bar Navigation allows you to easily select the area you want to to focus on.

When in doubt, contact a librarian to schedule a consultation for further help.

Purpose of a Literature Review

A literature review is am account of what has been published on a topic by credible scholars and researchers. The purpose of a literature review is to summarize what knowledge and ideas have been established on a topic while also offering analysis on that prior research.

A Literature Review MUST:

1. Be organized and directly relate to the thesis, topic, or research question being developed

2. Synthesize results into a summary of what is and is not known

3. Identify opportunities for new research to fill in gaps of knowledge

4. Include sources that cover multiple perspectives