Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Doing the literature review: Overview

Overview: Doing the literature review

This self-paced module is designed to get you though the process of doing your (systematic) literature review. The focus in this module is on the literature review for a dissertation or a thesis, but many of the ideas are transferable to other kinds of writing, such as a peer-reviewed publication (article or book chapter), or a report. The approach you take to the literature review depends on your research question and intended readers.
This module contains short texts, some videos and exercises/activities, and handouts about:

  • Types of literature review
  • Selecting databases
  • Scoping your search (using the visualization tool VOSviewer)
  • Using a database thesaurus
  • Advanced search in a (literature) database
  • Citing information & Using a reference manager
  • Reporting your search strategy
  • Writing & structuring
  • And last but not least: When to stop! This is one of the most asked questions when doing your literature review: when should I stop reading and start writing?

After finishing this module you will have an understanding of the basic concepts of a literature review, have examples of types of literature reviews and know how to create a literature review. 

Books about literature reviews