Wikipedia. (2014). The plant physiologist Athanasios Theologis, with tomatoes genetically modified to contain the ACC synthase gene.
The literature review gives you background information about your topic. You will search Google Scholar, library databases, and the Internet to not only understand the research problem, but also to know what research has already been done in your field. Having good background information helps you to make better hypotheses and experiment plans.
This page includes information about searching, the reprint file, the bibliography, and incorporating source material with in-text citations.
Google Scholar is an excellent starting point for your searches, and reading the articles that you find can provide keywords and other terms that you can add to your searches. Citations are very easy to create using Google Scholar's "cite" tool.
Libraries are excellent sources of high-quality, scholarly information. Below is information about some of our area libraries and their resources:
Internet searching - The Internet contains tons of valuable information, but it also contains a lot of inaccurate and not-very-scholarly information. It is important that you evaluate the sources that you find on the Web, to make sure that it is authoritative and useful academically. Ask yourself who created the information - why should you trust these people's information? Why was the information published - to inform, to sell something, to change your thinking? When was the information published - is it still accurate, or do you need more current information? Below are a few guides to evaluating Internet resources:
Google allows searching within specific domains - just add "site:.gov" or "site:.edu" (without the quotes) to your searches to limit results to government or higher education sites, eliminating lots of personal sites, blogs, and even parody sites.
Be sure to make copies of ALL the articles you read - entries from a book, websites, etc. - and keep them for your reprint file. More is usually better, but do not keep things that are not related to your research question.
Anything that you copy for your reprint file will need to be included in your bibliography, so that you can acknowledge that you are using the work of others in accordance with copyright law. Record the bibliography information into your logbook on the day that you copied the information, and write the date on the back of the copies. This will help you when you are ready to type up the references that you actually used.
Read through your reprint file as you find the information and highlight the main ideas. After you have highlighted the information, place the copied pages in a plastic page protector and keep it in your REPRINT FILE notebook. You can fit two pages of copied material in one plastic sleeve (so that one shows through the front and the other on the back).
The literature review should include in-text citations for all of the journal articles, books, websites, and other sources that you included in your literature review (at least five), and each of the items that you cited in your literature review will need a corresponding citation in your bibliography. Each reference, or citation, will include all of the information required to find the resources that you have used in your paper. You will need to make sure that your format is correct according the the style manual that you are using. The OWL at Purdue has an excellent APA formatting resource online (you'll find MLA and Chicago styles there, too).
There are several ways to blend source materials into your literature review:
Regardless of the ways you use the material, be sure to properly cite and give credit to the author’s work.