We discuss the following topic on this page:
We also provide the following activity:
Throughout these chapters we have been emphasizing the idea of scholarship as conversation. This notion extends beyond the written paper to the entire research process, and nowhere is it more important than during your literature review! Just to reiterate this point, here are a few ideas to consider:
- Talk To Your Instructor: Don’t be afraid to talk to your instructor at different stages of your research. This is a good way to stay on track, make sure the scope and purpose of your project are on target, and to make sure you’re finding the right types of sources. Your instructor may also know about important books or articles you haven’t discovered yet as well as key researchers or theorists who work in your area:
- Consult a Librarian: University and college libraries usually offer a research consultation service. It is recommended to schedule an appointment as early in the process as possible. Consultations generally focus on the same search strategies discussed throughout this course, but they will be tailored to your individual needs/project.
- Interview an Expert: Whether at your university or someone you’ve discovered during your literature review, consider setting up an informational interview. To get started, introduce yourself, briefly describe your research project, explain why you’re contacting them, and request an interview or assistance with a specific research problem. You might not get a response from everyone, but you’ll be surprised how willing established researches are to talk to student scholars who show initiative.
The best way to find scholars to talk to about your work is to look through the scholarly literature and identify the authors of the work you like. You can also look through the citations in their works to identify other authors. Then you can look up those people online. Most researchers are affiliated with institutions like universities and they have email addresses which you can find on their faculty webpage. You can write to them at their institution, share your interest in their work, and ask for a consultation.
If you are using an offline version of this text, access the quiz for this section via the QR code.