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Writing a Literature Review: 1. Choose Your Topic

Choosing Your Topic

Choose a topic that you find interesting. This will make the process more enjoyable and ultimately more rewarding.

Make sure your topic has already been researched by others so that you’ll be able to find relevant articles to review. You might start with researching a few different ideas in case your first topic hasn’t been explored much.

Background Information

First, seek out an overview of your topic.  Background information can provide you with:

  • keywords and search terms to use to find more information
  • an overview of the basic theories and/or major themes associated with your topic

The library has many electronic and print resources that can help you discover a broad view of a subject.  Encyclopedias can provide you with a brief overview of a topic, and lead you to other ideas.

Library staff are available to help you locate resources on your chosen topic. Ask at the Lending and i Desk for help with the following:



For some areas, including nursing, the currency or timeliness of the literature is key.  For other areas, it is less important. Seminal or landmark studies can be relevant many decades later.

Always check with your tutor to see what is suitable for your literature review.

Picking your topic IS research!