Skip to main content

Education & Curriculum Studies: Literature Reviews & Research Methods

What is a literature review and guides to writing them

Develop your research skills by completing the University of Sydney Library module  What is a literature review?  or  read or download the PDF transcript.      

Finding books on how to conduct a literature review & write a thesis

The library holds many titles which relate specifically to the literature review in academic research; do a keyword search in the catalogue to find some specific to your area of research.

Books on the broader aspects of academic writing, research and research methodology may also include sections on the literature review. Browse the following Library searches to locate additional resources.

Academic writing

Research evaluation

Education -- research -- methodology

Social sciences -- research -- methodology

Social service --research -- methodology

Systematic Reviews of the Literature in the Social Sciences

A Systematic Reviews is a research method in in itself and is different to the traditional literature review.

About Your Library

Fisher Library is your Library, it is the largest of the University of Sydney Libraries, holding collections in the areas of Arts, Humanities, Education, Social Work, Psychology and Business. Ask at the Fisher Information Desk for assistance with simple enquiries, borrowing and returning enquiries, printing/scanning/copying, requesting and finding books/readings.

Your student card is your Library card, loans are generally for 12 weeks unless recalled, unlimited renewals. Items on reading lists are in high demand so may be restricted to 2 hour loan and fines apply for late return of these items. More information on Borrowing items.

Bosch Commons, Fisher and Law Libraries are open 24/7 for late night study, access using your student card.

Faculty Liaison Librarian for the Education & Social Work

Christine Tennent 

Phone Christine on 9351 3257 for a research appointment.

For General Enquiries call Fisher Information Desk 9351 2993 

Writing Guides & Tools

Locating resources for your literature review

Researching your literature review..

Identify your topic and any important relevant contexts. Formulate a research question.

Analyse your research question. List key terms, concepts, keywords and synonyms these will form the basis of the your initial research strategy.

Identify Key authors, key articles/books and key journals.

Academic literature: Is your article peer reviewed? Is it published by an academic press, university, scholarly organisation or society?

List the type of material that may be included in your literature review. For example; books, journal articles, theses, research papers, websites, government and policy documents, bibliographies, handbooks, manuals, encyclopedias, statistics and conference proceedings.

List key databases and other relevant research resources you are going to use.

Too much or too little information?  Re-think your strategy - broaden or narrow your search.

Research Methods