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HS 320: Mind-Body Health

Use this guide to access resources useful for introductory research. Contact a librarian for advanced research assistance.

What is a literature review and why is it important?

The literature review should:

  • Describe the existing, relevant published research on a specific topic.
  • Synthesize that information to describe the collected published knowledge about the specific topic.

The literature review is an important part of your research paper because it sets the stage for your own research.  You are letting the reader know what knowledge exists (previous research articles) and how your own research fits into that research conversation.

Tips to help with reading a research article

Read the abstract. Look for the purpose of the article, methods, results, and the authors' conclusion about the research. Knowing this will make reading the article easier.

Skim the headings and look for any charts or graphs in the article. Can you understand the charts or graphs?  If not, is there someone you can ask for help?  Or, is there another article that might be easier to read?

Ask questions about the article before you read it. 

Read the article and take notes if necessary.  Try to answer your questions. 

Library Databases

PsycINFO Search Tips

Strategy building search tips for PsycINFO
Use this: To do this:
quotation marks Exact phrase searching
AND Combine terms (narrows the search)
NOT Omit or ignore a term
OR Expand the search to include either or both terms
parenthesis Structure a Boolean search, nesting terms and phrases
* Truncate a term or complete a phrase
? Wildcard used to replace a single letter
# Wildcard used for alternate spellings
N and a number Finds terms near x terms
W and a number Finds terms within x terms in order
Try not to use punctuation Database will ignore unless it is a question mark
Try not to use stop words Database will ignore these