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Writing Your Literature Review - HHP 230

This guide is intended to help you understand what a literature review is and it outlines the steps to writing your own literature review.

HOW to approach writing your own literature review

It's time to get organized. The more organized your ideas are in the early stages, the more things will flow later.


Step 1. Read this handout provided by UNC's Writing Center. This is an excellent jump starter that will help you think ahead. After reading this guide, remember to return to this page to go on to step 2. 

Click here. 

Step 2. Time to get hands-on and to do some brainstorming! No need to get on a computer quite yet! It's probably best to to this with paper and pencil.  Click on the image to see what happens when we are too anxious to start typing before doing the mind mapping and brainstorming needed to get good results. Don't forget to to return to this page in order to go on to step 3. 
(Source: Leonard Lief Library of Lehman College.)  

Click here. 

Step 3. Now that you have your keywords on paper, you're ready to begin the detective work at your computer! Start with some of the databases you see in the column on the far right side of this page. If you need help, be sure to visit the library to ask for assistance. If you want to feel like a search pro, ask for tips on using boolean operators, truncation, wildcards, and quotations. 


Step 4. Things are starting to come together. In fact, you're starting to find so much information that you're unsure how to keep track of it. There are many places to conveniently save and organize what you find including Google Drive, EBSCOhost, EndNote, etc.  Click to the right to learn about EndNote and the ways in which it can save you time. 

Helpful bonus: With all this talk about the literature review, you probably want to see what a finished literature review looks like. Click on this link to see how four co-authors collaborated to create a published literature review. 

Click here to learn about EndNote. 

Step 5.  You will probably write multiple drafts before you are happy with your final literature review. If you are having any trouble with the writing process, be sure to speak to Dr. Ackley to ask for her feedback and suggestions. Also consider making an appointment with the Roanoke College Writing Center for assistance. And remember that Kayla Capehart is a subject tutor and she would be very happy to meet with you. You can make that happen by going here.

Click here.