Skip to Main Content

Centennial Research Networking Group

Resources to support members of Centennial's Research Networking Group

What is a Literature Review?

A literature review is a systematic synthesis of previous research on a topic.

Literature reviews are the first step in your graduate studies research.

Steps in the Literature Review Process

  1. Define your research question. Consider:
    • Setting: What is the context of your inquiry?
    • Population or Problem: Who or what are you investigating?
    • Intervention or Idea of Interest: What are you measuring, doing or changing?
    • Comparison or Control Conditions: Are there any comparison groups?
    • Evaluation: How are you measuring outcomes? What outcomes are you interested in?
  2. Identify sources for published and grey literature
    • Library Databases
    • Professional organizations
    • Think tanks, policy institutes, NGOs
  3. Plan a systematic search strategy
    • Identify key concepts & keywords
    • Map to relevant controlled vocabulary (subject terms)
    • Replicate the strategy across multiple databases
  4. Collect & organize references using citation management software
  5. Screen results for inclusion in the literature review
  6. Read and synthesize the literature as it relates to your research question

More Information

Need help?

Ask the library via chat, email or phone.

Contact the library icon

chat loading...