If you haven't been reading for long in a particular area, starting a literature review can feel daunting.
Here are 4 steps you can take to help you get started:
Handbooks are a type of reference resource on a particular discipline, academic field, or subject.
From the Wikipedia page on 'Handbooks': they provide "compendiums of information in a particular field or about a particular technique."
Some publishers in the humanities and social sciences refer to handbooks as "companions." Here are some examples:
Handbooks are a solid first place to get a sense of a particular topic and give you background. They can potentially help you in numerous ways:
Try the keyword search term handbook*, as well as your topic of interest, in LibrarySearch to begin to look for handbooks.
Others might have done literature reviews in your area before you.
If pre-existing reviews can be found, they can be very helpful in giving you a kind of 'map' to the literature.
WIth a pre-existing literature review, you get an example of how these documents are written.
Use LibrarySearch to find literature reviews:
Nearly all graduate level (i.e., master's level or PhD) theses contain some sort literature review.
If there is a thesis or a dissertation that has been written in your subject area, it very likely has a literature review contained within, and that can be potentially very helpful to you.
At the VIU Library, you can search look for theses or dissertations (doctoral theses) in two ways:
After you've looked for overviews of your topic through handbooks and searched for pre-existing literature reviews or theses, it's time to get into the main search for literature in your area.
Use LibrarySearch or specialized databases in your area to look for scholarly journal articles.
Some search suggestions: