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Ekstrom Library

CJ 325: Research Methods (Andreescu): Completing a literature review

Finding Scholarly Peer-Reviewed Articles

To find articles that were published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, please use the databases below. These allow you to gain access to the millions of dollars of subscriptions that the library purchases to these sources.

Finding Books

To find books on your topic, use the Library Catalog. Use broad keywords from your topic. For example, if your topic was the current state of victims rights in Kentucky, you might start with a search for books on victims rights in general because a search for victims rights Kentucky turns up nothing relevant. No one has written a book on that yet.

But you may find that someone has written an article on that topic. See the Finding Scholarly Peer-reviewed Articles box.



Literature Review Matrix

A literature review matrix serves to help you visually organize your thoughts on an article.

This is only one option of many that can help you organize your thoughts; you can easily change the sections of the first page to reflect your discipline. 

The first part of this two-part document helps you analyze each individual article for its research question(s); method(s); results; and conclusions. It also enables you to evaluate it for its strengths and limitations and identify its themes before you attempt to connect it to other research.

The second part helps you visually connect the themes and identify disparate themes so that you can begin to synthesize established knowledge on your topic and identify alternative points of view on the topic and speak to why those might exist.