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Education & Curriculum Studies: Literature Reviews & Writing Guides

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.      

Featured book on academic writing

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 Library Search 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

Education -- research -- methodology

Social sciences -- research -- methodology

Social service -- research -- methodology

Systematic Reviews of the Literature in the Social Sciences

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

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.

Contact the Library

For general enquiries such as opening hours, locating resources on the shelves, copying and scanning and booking study rooms in the library please ask at the Information Desk in Fisher or contact us by phone 9351 2993 or 9351 2994. We also have a Live Chat and Frequently Asked Questions service.

For research enquiries contact Christine Tennent, Academic Liaison Librarian for the Sydney School of Education & Social Work.

Research Methods


Finding Theorists