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Dissertation Survival Guide: Step Two: Lit Review

Guidance on how to complete your Dissertation/Final Year Project and make the most of Library and IT Services and Resources

Start your literature review by searching Summon

So you’ve got your research questions sorted? Great.  Now you need to think about finding existing research on this topic - this is what your literature review will cover, but WHERE should you search? The Library buys millions of journal articles, books, newspapers and more, and makes them available through Summon.  

Check out additional resources on your subject library guide

We also buy many more specialist resources, and list the ones most likely to be relevant to your subjects on our online library guides

Evaluating sources: how up-to-date is your material?

How up-to-date is the information you have gathered?  This was largely depend on the types of sources used.  See the useful Evaluating Sources: the Information Cycle by De Montfort University for more information and guidance

Using Summon effectively

Guide to using Summon 

Also, check out our video guides for tips on using Summon 

Test the quality of your resources by using the CRAAP test

There are so many resources out there these days that it can be difficult to decide what to use. Try to think about the QUALITY of those resources you find by considering the questions using the CRAAP test  (Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, Purpose) before you include it in your literature review.  You will find more details about this test in the image above..

Managing your references

When you’ve decided something could be useful, make sure you keep track of all the details so you can reference it properly in the literature review. For more advice on referencing, consult the University referencing guide.  Why not use our reference management tool Refworks to keep a record of your items?  It has a Write-N-Cite plug-in which allows you to cite while you write in Word and automatically builds up your reference list. Sign up for a free account using your university email account.  

Evaluating sources

What is a literature review?