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Chicana & Chicano Studies

How to do a literature review

Doing the Lit Review

Write your topic in the form of a question.

Brainstorm keywords and related terms.

Find background information on your topic using subject
encyclopedias or handbooks.  Hint: Search the Library catalog
for your topic and combine with encyclopedias or handbooks to see what resources are available. A better understanding of your topic can help you narrow down and focus your search.   For example:  special education AND handbooks.

Search relevant databases for articles using keywords.
Use more than one database!

Are you finding additional terms or subject headings related to your search? Jot down some of these terms and revise your search terms as necessary.

Scan the articles with a critical eye.   Ask who, what, when, where, why?  An excellent resource for analyzing references is Critically Analyzing Information Sources by the Cornell University Libraries

Is your topic researchable?  Are you finding enough articles?  If not, revise your search or topic and begin the process again.

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