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Graduate Research

Literature Reviews

As a graduate student, you may need to plan a literature review for an upcoming research project or proposal or plan a less formal literature review for a course assignment. The literature review serves as a foundation for your topic  or research questions and helps to situate your project within the framework of existing studies. Broadly speaking, conducting a literature review involves locating, evaluating, and selecting high-quality sources and then writing a synthesis of the sources you select. Understanding effective strategies about how to locate sources such as, research studies and secondary sources published in peer-reviewed or refereed journals, grey literature, and other sources can save time. Your topic, program or discipline, project requirements, and the purpose of your review (thesis, dissertation, academic paper) all play a part in determining the scope of your literature review and the strategies you use. 

To learn more about time-saving strategies for planning and managing sources, consider attending our 2-part "Getting Started" workshop series presented through the College of Graduate Studies Pathways to Success program.

Getting Started Workshops include:

  • Finding & Using Academic Sources

Learn time-saving strategies to locate academic sources for upcoming course assignments and literature reviews. Topics include how to find peer-reviewed articles, identify subject databases, locate related sources for topics and discussion of the purpose of a literature review. 

  • Citation Management Tools -- EndNote or Zotero

Learn how to organize sources for projects, import citations from databases, save PDFs, select citation styles, format citations in Word, and use groups for resource sharing. 

For more information or questions, please contact Corinne Bishop, Graduate Engagement Librarian

Evidence Systhesis Resources

Review Software

The following free and fee-based evidence synthesis software can be used to manage systematic reviews.
Tip: check for 'trial versions' to test software prior to using.

UCF Subscription

JBI Sumari "Develop, conduct,
and report on systematic reviews
of multiple research papers."

Fee-Subscription Based



Distiller SR

Rayyan QCRI