Literature Review in Research

Literature Review in Research

Literature review means placing and concluding studies on a particular topic. These studies are often research studies (because you are working on research), but these studies can also include articles or thoughts that provide a framework for explaining a topic. 

There are many ways to work on literature reviews, but most scholars do it in a systematic way to capture, evaluate, and flush out existing literature. 

Below are some ways that I recommend to you:

  1. Start by identifying some research keywords. This step is primarily when you want to find materials, references, and library materials in the university library. These keywords can be obtained when you are identifying a research topic or can come from the results of reading several books.
  2. Once the keywords are obtained, then visit the library and start searching the catalog for reference materials (e.g., journals and books). However, most libraries today already have computerized databases, and I recommend that you focus first on those journals and books that are relevant to your research topic. In addition, try to find computerized databases that have been reviewed and recommended by social science researchers, such as ERIC, PsycINFO, Sociofile, Social Science Citation Index, Google Scholar, ProQuest, and so on. These databases can already be accessed online, even though some of them are already available on CD-ROM.
  3. First, try to find at least 50 Research reports, such as articles or books, that relate to your research topic. Prioritize searches on journal articles and books because sources like this are very easy to obtain. Check whether the articles and books are available in your academic library, whether you need to ask a librarian for help submitting them, or whether you should buy them at a bookstore.
  4. Skim through a set of articles or chapters in a book, then copy/duplicate chapters or articles that are relevant to your topic. In this process, make sure whether the article or the baby will be enough to give adequate for your literature review
  5. When you identify some literature, start designing a literature map (which will be discussed in more detail in a special subsection). A literature map (literature map) is a kind of visual image that displays the grouping of literature based on research topics. This map will illustrate how your research contributes to the existing literature.
  6. After creating a literature map, make a summary of some of the most relevant articles. These summaries will later be included in your literature review. Include relevant references in the literature review using appropriate writing guidelines, such as the American Psychological Association (APA) guidelines (APA, 2001) so that you have a complete reference to use at the end of the research proposal.
  7. After making a summary of some of the literature you have obtained, it is time to make a literature review, by arranging it thematically or based on important concepts. At the end of the literature review, express your general view of the overall theme that you have gained from the existing literature, then explain why your research really has its own novelty compared to the existing literature.


Creswell, J.W. (1999) Mixed method research: Introduction and application. In G.J. Cizek (Ed.). Handbook of educational policy (pp. 455-472). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.
Creswell, J.W. (2007). Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design: Choos¬ing among Five Approaches ( 3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Creswell, J.W. (2008). Educational Research: Ptoming, Conducting and Evaluating Quantitative and Qualitative Research (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill.
Creswell, J.W. & Brown, M.L. (1992, Fall). How chairpersons enhance faculty research: A grounded theory study. The Review of Higher Education, 16(1), 41-62.
Creswell, J.W., & Miller, D. (2000). Determining validity in qualita¬tive inquiry. Theory into Practice, 39(3), 124-130.
Creswell, J. W., & Creswell, J. D. (2017). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approach. Sage publications.
Creswell, J.W. & Piano Clark, V.L. (2007). Designing and Conducting Mixed Methods Research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

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