Select a Topic
- Select your topic based on your interest and available scholarly literature
- Consult with your mentor – seminal papers on the topic?
- Define what you WILL include in your research
- Constrain your topic by defining what you WILL NOT include in your research
- Remember Goldilocks – you want your topic scope to be just right, not too big, not too small
Develop the Argument
- Map out the claims in the literature – there may be multiple
- What is the data and its relevance?
- Is there enough strength for what is being claimed?
- Where are the gaps in the literature?
- Where are the connections?
Structure a Protocol for your Search
You can build a protocol for your literature review and search process before starting. A checklist developed by the Cornell Library Evidence Synthesis Service to walk you through this process is available as a pdf.
Brainstorm Your Search Options