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FRST 399 : Introduction to Research Methods

Introduction to Literature Reviews

What is a literature review?

"A literature review is an evaluative report of information found in the literature related to your selected area of study. The review should describe, summarize, evaluate and clarify this literature. It should give a theoretical base for the research and help you (the author) determine the nature of your research." (Jesson, Matheson, & Lacey, 2011).

A literature review is often produced in the context of a research proposal, journal article or part of a thesis or dissertation.

A literature review may present the major achievements in the field, key areas of debate, and outstanding research questions (Pautasso, 2013).

For more about literature reviews, see this comprehensive guide.


1. Jesson, J., Matheson, L., & Lacey, F. M. (2011).  Doing your literature review: traditional and systematic techniques. Los Angeles: Sage.

2. Pautasso, M. (2013). Ten simple rules for doing a literature review. Retrieved from: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003149

Searching Worksheet

Before diving into your search, it's a good idea to spend a few minutes thinking about how you're going to search. This worksheet will help you identify the key concepts and databases, and create a search strategy using techniques like AND, OR, quotation marks and truncation.

Research Help

Need help? Please don't hesitate to contact me.

Librarian Sally Taylor

Sally Taylor, Librarian - Vancouver

sally.taylor@ubc.ca | 604.822.6638