What is a Literature Review
You may be told that you need to do a literature review as part of your project and are confused as to what this means. A literature review is not a book review, it is a process that scholars and researchers undertake to explore the important and relevant literature on a topic. When you conduct a literature review you examine or survey the books, scholarly articles, conference papers and dissertations on your research area. In doing so you describe the research that has been already done and summarize the state of the knowledge about this issue, theory or problem. You will offer an analysis and evaluation of the work done and relate it to the work you intend to do. You will use many of the resources offered in this subject guide to locate the books, articles, papers and dissertations that may be part of your literature review.
You can find information on the process of conducting a literature review in the following:
Univ. of Santa Cruz - How to Write a Literature Review
Univ. of Wisconsin Writing Center - Literature Review
Welcome to the Lehigh University Library LibGuide for Sociology. This guide is developed to highlight some of the key resources for conducting library research in this discipline.It will assist in your search for facts, background information, books, scholarly articles and statistical data. Choose from the tabs across the top of this page to focus on the materials you need.
My contact information appears in the box to the right. If you'd like to meet with me to discuss your work or for help with the materials listed here please phone or send me an email . Using this guide is a good way to get started but there may be more specialized tools and sources that don't appear here to which I can direct you.
Literature Review Process
The library has purchased a new book:
The Literature Review: Six Steps to Success by Lawrenc A. Machi and Brenda T. McEvoy
Find it in Fairchild Martindale Library under 001.4 M149L
From the preface: "This book is organized as a road map for researching, arguing and composing a literature review... To become successful at this craft, researchers need many skills. They need a way to narrow the research topic and to focus their literature search, and they need the tools necessary to negotiiate the myriad books, periodicals, and reports about their topic. Therefore the purpose of this book is to gather into one volume the strategies, tools and techniques of the experienced researcher... This book is intended for use by two groups of researchers: those completing master's theses, and those working on doctoral dissertations." And, "if you are doing a class assignment or completing most master's degree projects, the text will address the type of literature review that summarizes and evaluates the existing knowledge on a particular topic."