A literature search forms part of the wider ‘literature review’ process of almost any major piece of academic research. It involves finding out what other work has already been done in your field. It will help to shape your research by:
This guide will give you tips on doing your literature search and guidance on what to do with the references you find. If you have been asked specifically to do a literature review, see the guidance on the left side of the page under the menu.
You might be writing your literature search as part of your dissertation or major project.
Read Study Advice's guide on dissertations and major projects on using your research skills to find a question, planning, conducting, and communicating your research, and completing your project successfully.