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Literature Review Information Literacy Session

Reviewing the literature IS topic refinement

To review the literature, start with these steps:

  • Explore Topic by initially considering your interests
  • Scoping Searches just to get a sense of the literature, which informs your topic

Next, you'll go through a few iterative steps:

  • Framing Your Topic - refining your topic based on search results
  • Adjusting Searches - refining your searches based on previous searches & based on your topic refinement
  • Adjusting Topic

These steps will eventually lead you to your research question.

Graphic with concentric circles depicting the iterative serach process decribed above


At the beginning of first year, you drew the concept of research & thought about how it connects to positionality. To review, see the link below. Always consider how your positionality connects to your research, throughout the research process, not only the lit review, but also in designing methodology, conducting the study, and analyzing results.

Literature reviews - what are they?

What are literature reviews?

Watch this video, created by North Carolina State University (NCSU) Library.