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Writing a Literature Review in the Arts and Humanities

Checklist for Literature Search

1) Understand what types of "literature" you need for your review

  • Academic books, scholarly journal articles, conference papers, theses or dissertations
  • Depending on the nature and focus of your research topic, you might also include:
    • Historical documents, policy documents, government publications, newspapers, professional (practitioner-oriented) books or magazine articles

2) Search most relevant databases in the topic field

  • Use keyword searching and other advanced techniques to retrieve relevant materials
  • Check Research Guides to the topic

3) Use citation databases (i.e., Web of Science) or Google Scholar for cited reference search 

  • Know how to chain citations 
  • Identify key authors and search for their publications

4) Create a log that documents how the literature search was conducted and what materials were read/scanned

Click here for step-by-step instructions (w/screen shots) on how to find:


Where To Go


Types of Literature Suggested Search Tools Note
Books   FSU Lib Catalog   Books at the FSU Libraries
  UBorrow Catalog   Books at the Libraries from  the State Universities of Florida
  WorldCat    Books at the libraries around the world
Articles   Google Scholar  
  Article Databases

  Subject-specific databases
  (i.e.,Social Services Abstracts)  

  Subject - general databases
  (i.e., Social Sciences Full Text)

  Multidisciplinary databases
  (i.e. Academic Search Complete or Web of Science)

  Database vendors
  (i.e. EBSCOHost

  Journal site   Homepage of the journal
  FSU Lib e-Journal Finder   e-Journals at the FSU Libraries
  Social Science Research Network (SSRN)      Working papers
Theses / Dissertations   ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (PQDT) database  
  WorldCat Dissertations   From the drop-down menu, select WordCatDissertations database
  FSU Lib Catalog 


  FSU Dissertations 

  FSU Dissertations (Electronic Theses or Dissertations since 2003)

  Institutional Repositories    Dissertations from other institutions
Everything    Google (or other search engine)  
  FSU OneSearch  
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