Bachelor of Psychology/Bachelor of Psychological Studies: Research Methodology Resources

Writing a Literature Review

Select a specific topic that you will be reviewing

You might want to write down a description of the research question, area, or topic that you will be reviewing, as well as to identify any keywords that you will be using to search for relevant research.

Conduct a literature search

Before you search them, spend a minute thinking about the best terms to use. Make a list of alternative words that describe your subject, and also think about general terms and more specific terms. This is important because the journal databases are good for finding very specific terms in articles, but the library catalogue tends to use more general terms. 

# The  Effective Searching page provides further explanation.  

Read/skim them, using the abstract  and take notes

Read through the articles and books that you have found, and as you do, take notes.  The notes should include anything that will be helpful in advancing your own thinking about the topic and in helping you write the literature review

Organise the articles into the sub-themes of your topic 

Identify points on which the articles agree, disagree, or don’t cover at all.

# Additional information and other tips are featured in the Literature Review libguide.

# See the following articles for more explanation:

Ten simple rules for writing a literature review (Open Access)

Pautasso, M. (2013). Ten simple rules for writing a literature review. PLoS Computational Biology, 9(7), 1-4.

Literature review as a research methodology: An overview and guidelines (Open Access)

Snyder, H. (n.d.). Literature review as a research methodology: An overview and guidelines. Journal of Business Research104, 333–339.

Sage Research Methods Database (SRM)

SAGE Research Methods (SRM) is a research methods tool created to help with planning and conducting the research project with an emphasise on:

  • writing a research question
  • choosing a research method
  • conducting a literature review
  • gathering and analysing data.

# For guidance on searching and using SRM please consult the Sage Research Methods help pages.

Getting Started with SRM

SRM includes access to:

Books on different aspects of research.

  • The Little Blue Books series contains information about qualitative methods such as participatory action research, discourse analysis, and ethnography. 
  • The Little Green Books series contains information about quantitative methods (i.e. number crunching) - things like regression, survey data, and time series analysis.

Videos and podcasts that bring research methods alive.

Reference materials such as an encyclopedia of research terminology.

Cases that provide real-world examples of research methods. These are a step by step walk-through written by the researcher who conducted the research.

Datasets that you can use to practice conducting statistical analysis.

There are some useful research tools to guide in conducting research, including the following:

Method Maps

A visual representation of how methods, terms and concepts are related to each other. 

Reading List

Find books, book chapters, and journal articles on research methods and statistics. You can browse them by specific method or by discipline.

Project Planner

This tool guides you through your research project by going through each stage.

Which Stats Test

Helps you select the most appropriate statistical test.

Qualitative Research

Quantitative Research

Further Reading