PSY 301: Overview of Research Methods: Home

How to conduct research for Psychology 301 assignments

APA Printable Quick Guide

What is a Literature Review

What is a literature review?

A literature review summarizes and synthesizes published information on a particular subject.

How is it different from a research paper?

A research paper develops a new argument. A literature review summarizes and synthesizes arguments and ideas of others. A literature review may serve as a foundation/support for new insights in research papers.

What is the purpose of a literature review?

  • Professional development: useful reports to keep up to date with a what is current in the field
  • Scholarly development: formulate or clarify a research topic
  • Research proposal: provide a background for a research topic by showing relationships among prior research and identifying gaps to show that your research is necessary to push the field further
  • Research paper background: set the context and significance for your research paper (i.e. thesis)


*adapted from Oregon State University Libraries Lit Review Workshop

Searching PsycINFO

PsychInfo: Methodology Search Examples


Finding Research Articles (empirical study)


Finding Review Articles (literature review)