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Writing a Literature Review

Where do I start? A guide to writing a literature review.

What should I look for when evaluating my sources?

Generally, there are a number of elements to consider when evaluating the quality and scholarliness of a source. During your literature review, you want to make sure you only include credible, scholarly sources. Use the following guidelines to help you in your evaluation:

  • Authority
    • What are the author's credentials?
    • Can you identify their institutional affiliations?
    • What is the author's expertise on the subject?
  • Currency
    • When was the source published?
    • Is it outdated?
    • Does it meet the time needs for your topic?
  • Documentation
    • Does the author cite credible, authoritative sources?
    • Is there evidence of scholarly research?
    • Do they properly cite their sources?
  • Intended Audience
    • Who is the intended audience? Scholars? Researchers? General audience?
  • Objective / Purpose
    • What is the author's goal in writing it? To entertain? To inform? To influence?
    • How objective is the source?
  • Relevancy
    • Is it relevant to your topic?
    • Does it provide any new information about your topic?