A literature review involves both the literature searching and the writing. The purpose of the literature search is to:
List above from Conducting A Literature Search, Information Research Methods and Systems, Penn State University Libraries
A literature review provides an evaluative review and documentation of what has been published by scholars and researchers on a given topic. In reviewing the published literature, the aim is to explain what ideas and knowledge have been gained and shared to date (i.e., hypotheses tested, scientific methods used, results and conclusions), the weakness and strengths of these previous works, and to identify remaining research questions: A literature review provides the context for your research, making clear why your topic deserves further investigation.
*Boolean logic provides three ways search terms/phrases can be combined, using the following three operators: AND, OR, and NOT.
The type of information you want to find and the practices of your discipline(s) drive the types of sources you seek and where you search.
For most research you will use multiple source types such as: annotated bibliographies; articles from journals, magazines, and newspapers; books; blogs; conference papers; data sets; dissertations; organization, company, or government reports; reference materials; systematic reviews; archival materials; curriculum materials; and more. It can be helpful to develop a comprehensive approach to review different sources and where you will search for each. Below is an example approach.
Utilize Current Awareness Services Identify and browse current issues of the most relevant journals for your topic; Setup email or RSS Alerts, e.g., Journal Table of Contents, Saved Searches
Consult Experts Identify and search for the publications of or contact educators, scholars, librarians, employees etc. at schools, organizations, and agencies
Remember there is no one portal for all information!
ProQuest (platform for ERIC, PsycINFO, and Dissertations & Theses Global databases, among other databases) search videos:
ERIC (Educational Resources Information Center)
If you are new to research, check out the Searching for Information tutorials and videos for foundational information.
In ERIC: Check the box next to “143: Reports - Research” under "Document type" from the Advanced Search page
In PsycINFO: Check the box next to “Empirical Study” under "Methodology" from the Advanced Search page
In OneSearch: There is not a specific way to limit to empirical studies in OneSearch, you can limit your search results to peer-reviewed journals and or dissertations, and then identify studies by reading the source abstract to determine if you’ve found an empirical study or not.
The Writing and Public Speaking Center at UM provides not only tutoring but many other resources for writers and presenters. Three with key tips for writing a literature review are:
If you are new to research, check out the Presenting and Organizing Information tutorials and videos for foundational information. You may also want to consult the Purdue OWL Academic Writing resources or APA Style Workshop content.