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Soc 311/469: Research Methods 1 -- Sociological Literature

What is a Literature Review?

literature review provides an overview of previous research on a topic that critically evaluates, classifies, and compares what has already been published on a particular topic. It allows the author to synthesize and place into context the research and scholarly literature relevant to the topic. Most scholarly books and articles begin with a review or at least a short characterization of the literature as a way of laying the groundwork for the authors' thesis. For researchers, this can be a great way of identifying key papers on the topic.

Resources for Reviews


Getting Magazine and Journal Articles

Many library databases include information to help you locate articles in the news media and academic literature, but they may not include the full text of the article itself.
The library offers three services to help you make the connection from these databases to the article you need:
  • Reed fulltext link in the database.  Most Reed databases include link that says something like "Check Reed fulltext."  Click on this link to view Reed's print and e-journal holdings for the article you're looking for.
  • Print & E-Journals List (includes newspapers and news services).  If you know that you are looking for an article from a particular magazine or journal, use this link to search for the publication by title.
  • Interlibrary Loan Request -- ILLIAD.  Log into this service with your Reed network ID and passoword to request for journal, magazine, and newspaper articles that are not available through Reed's print or electronic collections.  You'll be notified by e-mail when your article is available for viewing, usually within 1-2 weeks.