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Writing a Literature Review

This purpose of this guide is to assist students with writing literature reviews for research papers in the sciences

Exploring the Literature


Exploring the Literature initiates the actual review process by devising a strategic search plan. The following steps are involved in exploring the literature.

Step 1. Select the appropriate database or databases. What databases would index the right literature for inclusion into the review chapter. 

Step 2. Select the appropriate terms, or concepts to explore.  What are the strategic terms from the research study you want to investigate in the literature search?   

Step 3. Identify strategic tools to use to ensure precision and accuracy of your search results. Use Boolean operators to combine terms, use truncation operators to expand the search and proximity operators to refine the search. 

Step 4. After exhaustively searching all relevant databases, the reviewer should have retrieved a significant number of records. At this point, the researcher is ready to move on to the next phase.   

Databases in the Sciences

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