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Undergraduate Research

This research guide has been created to assist undergraduate students with capstone or other research projects. This guide offers resources to help from selecting a topic through putting on the finishing touches.

What is a Literature Review?

Start with this 10 minute video "Literature Reviews: An Overview for Graduate Students" created by the North Carolina State University Libraries. It is a great overview that is not just for graduate students:



There are some differences in literature reviews depending on your discipline, but most literature reviews share these traits:

  • A literature review summarizes, analyzes and organizes sources tied to an overarching theme
  • A criteria is used and described for selecting the sources to review
  • Provides and explains differing conclusions between sources on similar questions

Writing a Literature Review Resources

As many topics fall under the discipline of the social sciences, these books provide excellent guidance for the majority of the literature reviews you would need to research & write:

The citation style manuals for each discipline also have chapters of guidance on how to write a literature review. Here is a listing of the citation style manuals available at the Bentley Library.

You can also check out sources like the following from the Royal Literary Fund, which discusses what a literature review is and offers pointers on how to put one together:

Where can I find Literature Review examples?

Search the Library's article databases for examples of literature reviews done by experts in the core journals of your field. You can use them as sample of how to structure your own review.

Start with:

You can use the same strategy in other library databases. Which database you use depends on your topic. Start with the Databases A-Z page and use the filter to view the databases/resources in your subject area.

Once you choose a database, keyword searching your topic adding the exact phrase

AND ("literature review" OR "review of the literature")