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PSY 3213C - Research Methods in Psychology (Osceola Campus)

Literature Review

A Literature Review provides a reader with knowledge and ideas that are established on a topic.  Strengths and weaknesses should be discussed. The idea is to summarize and synthesize the arguments and ideas of others, not merely to provide a list of statements about the peer-reviewed articles you have read.

  • organize around a statement
  • argue for a particular perspective
  • pay attention to the types of sources
  • limit the number of quotations to the minimum
  • keep your own voice when writing
  • if you paraphrase, give credit
  • limit to a time period if you are requested to do so
  • use only sources stipulated by your instructor

You want to show the connections between the ideas in your sources. When you interpret information from your sources, include evidence to show that what you are saying is valid. It’s useful to review the bibliography or reference section of a source such as a journal article, for further sources.

Set up your search strategy, locate keywords and search via the keywords. If you search with a phase you may miss relevant articles. Check the links in the database you are using to locate links to a thesaurus (Business Source Premier) or topic tree (ABIinform).

Some of the databases provide a reference list at the end of articles that are linkable. Depending on the database, you may view the citations from the abstract or at the end of the article itself. If UCF provides access to an article in the reference section, you may be able to click on the hyperlink and view the article. If not, follow the directions given in the library module for locating the full text from a citation.

It is important to provide enough time to locate sources that may not be available in full text online. This is where the InterLibrary Loan department will be of assistance. They provide a link for you ( to login and request items. It may take 2 days or 2 weeks, and they frequently locate items in less than a week. Articles are emailed to you via the interlibrary loan account you set up. They are resourceful and skilled at locating the hard to find.

Below are articles that are literature reviews. Since they are in one of UCF's scholarly databases, you will have to login with EZproxy and your library number to view them if you are off-campus. Right click to open these in a new window. Login. This will open the abstract/citation page of the article. Find the PDF link and click on it. The url you see below is a persistent link. You will see these in some of the databases. They are useful because you can send the link to another student and all they do is login with their library number to view the article.

Literature Review: An investigation into the values dimensions of branding:  Implications for the charity sector (article is a literature review)

Literature Review: Philanthropic fundraising  (article is a literature review)

The writing center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has a handout on Literature Reviews and some of the information above is taken from this document. It’s on the web at

Remember, the UCF Writing Center will review papers online. They are located at UCF Writing Center  online in addition to their various physical locations. They will assist you with questions regarding the writing of the literature review. The librarian will assist with research for the sources, answering questions about research in general and providing search strategy assistance for your topic.


Where to Search