Home » Help Guides » Literature Searching (and Reviews)

Literature Searching (and Reviews)

Award Winning Tutorial

This interactive tutorial from UCLA Libraries is recommended for all students completing literature reviews.

Searching For Sources

Our Staying Organized With Research Guide covers options for saving and organizing searches and sources.

Before you begin writing, it’s helpful to summarize the differences between sources into a table. Here are some templates you can use for this step.

Source Comparison Chart Worksheet (DOC)
Source Comparison Chart Workbook (EXCEL)
Plan For Your Sources Worksheet (DOC)
Plan for Sources Workbook (EXCEL)

Additional Information

“the literature”: all the scholarly writing about a topic

literature search (definition): a well thought out and organized search for all of the books, articles, dissertations, and other authoritative sources published on a topic.

Literature review (definition): synthesizing sources from the literature search, usually in writing.

▶️Watch this video for an introduction

  • Narrative: an overview of the current state of the literature. Limited by a number of sources. (ex. 5-10 articles)
  • Systematic: Comprehensive overview of all published and unpublished research on the topic, limited by time frame (ex. 10 years).
    • Meta-analysis: Uses statistical analysis to combine the data from different studies
    • Meta-synthesis: Uses non-statistical methods to compare research studies by theme or theory

Source: U of Toledo Guide