Literature Reviews

Literature Reviews

5. Planning the Literature Review

Before embarking on a literature search, you will need to determine the scope of your literature review. This will be driven and defined by your research question, or what it is exactly you hope to find out. Once the research question is determined, you can always revise it to broaden or narrow its scope. See Writing a Good Research Question , Grand Canyon University Center for Innovation in Research and Teaching, for guidance on developing a strong research question.

Other factors to consider while conducting your literature search are:

  • time period of texts (are you looking for research from a certain period?Are you searching for the development of a topic or idea);
  • when searching databases, try different combinations of search terms (and different spellings!);
  • exercises such as brainstorming and mind maps can be useful in determining the scope of the research.