Depending on your research question, you will want to consult books, scholarly articles, and other media (such as conference proceedings, artifacts, reports, etc).
Do you need background information?
Are you aware of authors for your topic?
Should you limit your results to time periods?
Should you limit your results to a particular region?
Do you want to limit your sources?
What databases should you use?
Developing a Literature Search
First think about your topic. Questions to consider:
- What is your topic?
- What interests you about the topic?
- What type of media you would like to consider in relation to your topic?
- What are some keywords related to your topic?
- What are some synonyms for your keywords?
- If I find too much literature on my topic, how will I narrow my search?
- If I find too little literature on my topic, how will I broaden my search?
Search Query Development
Example topic: X-ray diffraction
Try X-ray diffraction and mineralogy
Still too broad?
Try x-ray diffraction and mineralogy and a mineral (ex:
Want to go narrower still?
Try x-ray diffractrion and mineralogy and kaolinite and a geographical region (ex: Turkey)