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Discrimination and the Law PS 4896 004:

Resources for projects in PS 4896 004: Capstone Seminar

What's a Literature Review?

  • Provides comprehensive discussion of the scholarly research that has already been done on a topic.
  • Includes some summary of important articles on a topic.
  • Includes comparison: between how different authors discuss the same topic and how the topic has been handled over time.
  • Synthesizes previous ideas on a topic, but also looks for gaps in the literature: what needs to be investigated further?

Literature Review Search Strategies

  • Comb through bibliographies and literature reviews of relevant journal articles and books. You'll probably start to see patterns: authors, journals, and themes that show up over and over.
  • Find Full Text through the Library: If you find an article in a bibliography that you’d like to access, search for that article in Library Search.
  • Find out who cited an article, and how many times it was cited, through Web of Science andGoogle Scholar. This will show you how influential an article was and gives you more articles and authors to investigate.
  • Web of Science has "Related Records" to the right in the record for a specific article ( that you find, say, through a topic search) that brings together articles that cite the same sources. The more there are, the more likely the articles are touching on the same topics.

*adapted with permission from PSU libraries

Literature Review Examples & Tips

Writing a Literature Review

Female student about to begin a literature review

Literature Reviews: An Overview for Graduate Students from NSCU Libraries