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GWS101: Doing Feminist Research: Lit Review, Methods, etc.

Spring 2021

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Writing and Research Methods

What is a Literature Review?

A literature review is a survey of research on a given topic. It allows you see what has already been written on a topic so that you can draw on that research in your own study. By seeing what has already been written on a topic you will also know how to distinguish your research and engage in an original area of inquiry. See also Social Welfare: Conducing a Literature Review.

Why do a Literature Review?

A literature review helps you explore the research that has come before you, to see how your research question has (or has not) already been addressed.

You will identify:

  • core research in the field
  • experts in the subject area
  • methodology you may want to use (or avoid)
  • gaps in knowledge -- or where your research would fit in

Elements of a Successful Literature Review

According to Byrne's  What makes a successful literature review? you should follow these steps:

  1. Identify appropriate search terms.
  2. Search appropriate databases to identify articles on your topic.
  3. Identify key publications in your area.
  4. Search the web to identify relevant grey literature. (Grey literature is often found in the public sector and is not traditionally published like academic literature. It is often produced by research organizations.)
  5. Scan article abstracts and summaries before reading the piece in full.
  6. Read the relevant articles and take notes.
  7. Organize by theme.
  8. Write your review.

from Byrne, D. (2017). What makes a successful literature review?. Project Planner. 10.4135/9781526408518. (via SAGE Research Methods)

Qualitative Research Librarian

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Celia Emmelhainz
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Charlene Conrad Liebau Library Prize for Undergraduate Research

The Charlene Conrad Liebau Library Prize for Undergraduate Research recognizes excellence in undergraduate research projects that show evidence of significant inquiry using the library, its resources, and collections and learning about the research and information-gathering process itself. Submissions due by: April 15, 2021 at 5:00 PM.