Literature Review Tutorial

These pages have been developed by staff at CQUniversity to help postgraduate students conceptualize, research and write a literature review. The pages are intended as a guide and it is the responsibility of the supervisor to give advice.


Tip 1: Taking notes

How you take notes must be linked to your record keeping system, typically EndNote. You must record the full citation so you can return to it later. Interpreting your notes as you go along is effecient. They are an analysis of the article and demonstrates how it fits with the literature not merely a transcript.This approach helps with your later writing, but also reduces the danger that you have unknowingly plagiarised another author's work. In writing your dissertation or research report, you need to have linked and integrated any such ideas and concepts with your personal knowledge framework. There are fields in EndNote that allow you at record notes and attach your own megadata (e.g. chemical names, processes, theories, methodologies, relevant chapter in thesis, software etc.) for later retrieval.

Tip 2: Recording authors' names

Establish a consistent format for recording names, to prevent the occurrence of several versions of the same name. This is particularly important where there may be more than one format of name for the same author (see examples below), include as much information as possible.

R.F. Samuels
Bob Samuels
Bob F. Samuels
Robert Samuels
Samuels, R.F.
Samuels, Bob etc

Tip 3: Recording search strategies

It is useful to record your search strategies, so that you can revise your strategy or return to it at a later stage ; and to annotate the search strategy with database used, date and number of hits.

Tip 4: Current awareness services

Current Awareness Services are available from a number of databases (as well as from publishers and websites). Such services are useful in keeping you up to date with literature in your field. As new resources are added current awareness services automatically notify you of relevant citations or table of contents. For more information see the Current Awarenees an Alerting Services LibGuide.