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Librarians are usually hugely experienced in using all the search tools and databases, and can often show you much quicker ways of doing things, as well as tips and tricks to help you refine your search.Furthermore, libraries may have copies of books and academic journals that are not available online.A literature review demonstrates that you have read around your topic and have a broad understanding of previous research, including its limitations.
You might for example ask your tutor or supervisor, or an expert or practitioner working on your chosen topic.
Often, they will be able to give you some very helpful ideas about where to begin your reading.
Your search terms are one of the most important elements of finding the right sources for your research project and developing them is an ongoing process.
It’s a good idea to start with a phrase that you think others will have used about the topic, perhaps that you have identified from your lectures and/or earlier study.
If you’re really struggling to find articles on the right topic, but you’re certain that they must be out there, drop your supervisor a note asking about possible search terms.
Ma Thesis English Literature - Creating A Literature Review
Tell them what you’ve already used, and ask them for a few alternatives to get you started.A key aspect of a literature review is what sources you select to include, and which you exclude.Thanks to the internet, literature searches are now relatively easy, and can be done from the comfort of your own laptop without needing to go anywhere near a library. The ease with which anybody can access and publish to the internet means that many items published online have not been scrutinised by anybody other than the author.Check a few references, and see which texts are cited most often, or ask the librarians how to use the databases to check how often each article is cited.A good way to identify when you have read enough is if your reading keeps turning up the same points and you’re not learning anything new.You will probably find that your first few searches don’t turn up much that’s useful.Use the one or two articles that you find that are on the right lines to identify alternative search terms, and continue to search until you turn up useful articles.You should also try to find several different sorts of sources: books, journal articles, dissertations, conference papers, working papers, and so on.You need to make sure that you identify the key texts for the subject.You can also use a tool such as Google Adword Keyword Research Tool to identify phrases and keywords that are similar to your chosen term(s).This tool is usually used by internet marketing professionals to help them find keywords similar to their own but can be useful for academic research too.