Other Useful Guides for Getting Started

Before we get started...

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Research strategy

Welcome!  Get started on your research for your literature review and consulting project.

Some helpful hints...

  • Questions? Don't hesitate to Ask A Librarian! We can answer your questions via email, or set up a time to meet in-person or via Zoom.
  • Begin by familiarizing yourself with current and available information and generating keywords and phrases about your topic. Then, search for those keywords and phrases using:
    • The Library Catalog (for books and other general information resources)
    • Databases and other specialized resources in this guide
  • Set up your research strategy and information management
  • Research background information about your topic
  • Do a preliminary literature search in major databases
  • Discover web resources,"grey literature" (non-peer-reviewed scholarly and substantive info), government info, statistics, etc. 
  • Gather or generate analysis of your own information
  • Be sure to evaluate what you are finding! 

Forming Research Questions

When thinking about your research questions, you need to consider the evidence on what's been done before, what methods have been used, and what other policy experts have done.


Need more help figuring out how to form your research question? Use this tutorial on the 5Ws method of question formation.

Literature Review Overview

NCSU Libraries has a great overview of the literature review process in the video below.

Video: Literature Reviews: An Overview for Graduate Students