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Literature Review Survival Library Guide: 1. Choose your topic

created by Alex D'Angelo

Choose your topic

Seek advice from a lecturer or tutor on this, if a topic is not already assigned. It is very common for students to bite off more than they can chew, simply because they have not realised the full breadth and complexity of an apparently simple topic. It is better to cover a tiny topic perfectly, than a huge topic superficially.

Look for a topic on which there is polarised opinion. It often helps to pick one in which a question is being asked, for example: Is a particular taxation policy beneficial or disadvantageous to a developing country?

When authors disagree, this provides an opportunity for you to enter the debate and argue for one side or another in your essay. Taking a hatchet to someone’s opinions (a) gives you something to write about, (b) is fun, (c) is the foundation of much modern scholarly writing.

Next topic: Step 2: Collect relevant material

A Database of Research Methodology Resources

SAGE Research Methods Online

 

 

SAGE Research Methods Online (SRMO) can be found on our A-Z list of databases. It is a tool designed to help you create research projects and understand the methods behind them.

 

SRMO has a taxonomy of over 1,400 methods terms, showing the relationships between them. These terms link to full text content from:

  - Over 600 books
  - Dictionaries, encyclopedias, and handbooks
  - The entire "Little Green Book" and "Little Blue Book" series
  - Two major works collating a selection of journal articles