Guidance will be available via your own department or school and via the relevant Information Librarian.
You can then begin your process of evaluating the quality and relevance of what you read, and this can guide you to more focussed further reading. It can give you a degree of control, in what can feel like an overwhelming and uncontrollable stage of the research process.
Taylor and Procter of The University of Toronto have some useful suggested questions to ask yourself at the beginning of your reading: can add other questions of your own to focus the search, for example: What time period am I interested in? Searching electronic databases is probably the quickest way to access a lot of material.
There are three stages at which a review of the literature is needed: This applies especially to people doing Ph Ds on a part-time basis, where their research might extend over six or more years.
You need to be able to demonstrate that you are aware of current issues and research, and to show how your research is relevant within a changing context.
This Study Guide explains why literature reviews are needed, and how they can be conducted and reported.
Literature Review Phd
Related Study Guides are: Referencing and bibliographies, Avoiding plagiarism, Writing a dissertation, What is critical reading? The focus of the Study Guide is the literature review within a dissertation or a thesis, but many of the ideas are transferable to other kinds of writing, such as an extended essay, or a report.
They will ask questions such as: These are questions that you will already probably be asking yourself.
You will also need to be ready to answer them in a viva if you will be having one. are particularly relevant to the process of critical review.
You can find the contact details for the Information Librarian for your own area via the Library web pages.
This person can help you identify relevant sources, and create effective electronic searches: anything on your research area is a good start. You may also want to make a clear decision about whether to start with a very narrow focus and work outwards, or to start wide before focussing in. It is a good idea to decide your strategy on this, rather than drifting into one or the other.