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McNair Scholars

Purpose of this Guide

The information in these pages will help you:

  • find information on your general topic
  • evaluate articles in appropriate sources
  • refine your topic to a more focused or narrower aspect of the topic
  • create a focused research question
  • narrow your information choice to address the research question
  • create your literature review
  • properly format and cite your sources and your paper
  • Contact librarians for research assistance.

What's a Literature Review?

A literature review surveys scholarly articles, books and other sources (e.g. dissertations, conference proceedings) relevant to a particular issue, area of research, or theory, providing a description, summary, and critical evaluation of each work. The purpose is to offer an overview of significant literature published on a topic. For further information, take a look at UCSC's guide to literature reviews.

A good literature review will be well focused on the specific research question. The sources used will be currrent, relevant, authoratative, accurate, and from an unbiased perspective.