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Sociology Literature Reviews

What is a Literature Review?

A literature review provides an overview of previously published research on a specific topic or subject. It critically evaluates, classifies, and compares what has already been published on a particular topic. A literature review is not merely a summary of another scholar's articles or books:

  • It allows the author to synthesize and place into context the research and scholarly literature relevant to the topic.
  • It helps map the different approaches to a given question and reveal patterns.  
  • It forms the foundation for the author’s subsequent research and justifies the significance of the new investigation.

What types of resources should be used for a literature review?

A literature review should be written using "credible" academic sources of information. This means using peer-reviewed, scholarly articles, books and other publications in your subject area. You should avoid using popular magazines, unpublished works, blogs or other resources deemed non-scholarly.

Where should I start searching for information?

The quickest way to start your literature review research is through Library Search on the homepage, or the electronically available databases on our website. 

Kelly Hallisy

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Kelly Hallisy
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(607) 274-1198