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Literature Reviews: 3. Read/screen articles

Articles of note

CC-BY the Italian voice

Read/screen articles

Most of the articles will have an abstract. This is a short paragraph at the head of the article that lists the main findings and conclusions in each article. By reading these, you will quickly get the gist of what each article is about and where it fits into the pattern you are building in your literature review

How many books and articles should you have? It’s wise to check this with your instructor. In general, though, your aim is not to cover every single book or article, but every major finding or approach to the topic. Many of the books or articles will add very little that is new. Therefore a short list of scholarly, relevant, comprehensive articles is often more effective than a list of hundreds of superficial or tangential articles.

What you are ideally looking for are the “seminal” articles (seed articles) on which most of the other authors are basing their work.