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Writing a Literature Review in Social Sciences

Checklist for Taking Notes

  • Identify the main points of a text that support your working thesis 
  • Organize your thoughts
  • Organize the evidence to support the working thesis
    • create a table to map how different sources relate to one another  or
    • create a literature reivew summary table 


Checklist for Managing References



  • Use a citation management tool to organize the materials

  • No citation management tools are perfect. It is still your responsibility to check your citations  with the required publishing style to ensure that the citations are formatted properly for your paper

Citation Management Tools

Tools Free  Available Styles to be Formatted Support LaTeX
BibDesk (for Mac) Yes  Yes
BibMe Yes APA, MLA, Chicago,Turabian
Citation Builder (from NCSU Libraries)  Yes APA, MLA
EasyBib Yes APA, MLA, Chicago, AMA, CSE, Harvard1, Chicago Author-Date, ACS, ASA
KnightCite (from Calvin College) Yes MLA, APA, Chicago
Mendeley Yes APA, MLA, Chicago and more Yes
Zotero Yes APA, MLA & +7,400 Styles Yes
RefWorks Free to FSU Community APA. MLA & +3,400 Styles
EndNote Desktop No APA, MLA & +6,000 Styles Yes
EndNote Basic Yes 7 most popular Styles including APA & MLA

For more information on citation management tool, see Citation Management guide.

Apps for Note-taking

Some citation management tools have a note-taking feature. You may also want to use one of the apps for note-taking. 

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