Follow the tabs above from Step 1 through Step 6 to get an overview of the research process. You will find information and resources at each step.
Have fun! Engaging in inquiry is an opportunity to follow your interests, so enjoy the process.
The following videos will help you navigate this guide as well as the sources listed on this page and the OPWL Lit Review Guide.
"A literature review is an account of what has been published on a topic by accredited scholars and researchers. Occasionally you will be asked to write one as a separate assignment (sometimes in the form of an annotated bibliography...), but more often it is part of the introduction to an essay, research report, or thesis. In writing the literature review, your purpose is to convey to your reader what knowledge and ideas have been established on a topic, and what their strengths and weaknesses are. As a piece of writing, the literature review must be defined by a guiding concept (e.g., your research objective, the problem or issue you are discussing, or your argumentative thesis). It is not just a descriptive list of the material available, or a set of summaries."
- The Literature Review: A Few Tips on Conducting It, University of Toronto http://advice.writing.utoronto.ca/types-of-writing/literature-review/
Simply put, honing your ability to efficiently locate quality information will save you time in the long run. For example, instead of fumbling around on the Internet, a skilled researcher is able to identify and navigate the academic and authoritative information sources in their field.
After working through the six steps in this guide, you will have the foundational skills to:
A thorough review of existing literature will strengthen your papers by linking your ideas to the scholarship in your field. Tapping into lines of scholarship isn't always easy or intuitive, but going through the steps outlined by the tabs above, will provide a foundation for the skills and concepts you need to successfully perform academic research.
Here are some of the ways you will use these information-finding skills now and in the future:
Why bother going through the 6 steps of this guide?