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Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering: MME / ECE 610 | Graduate Seminar

Conducting a Literature Search

Literature Reviews

Here's what's useful about doing a literature review:

  • Confirmation of need
  • Establishment of focus
  • Identification of specific subject and context 
  • Identification of theoretical base
  • Identification of methodological base

So, how does one conduct a literature review? Basically go find relevant resources; it helps to have a plan for this though.

Search Strategies

Effective search strategies require persistence, adaptability and flexibility. 
The best place to start is articulating search terms for your research.

  1. In a sentence or two, articulate your central topic
  2. Take your sentences from above and break them down into broad concepts
  3. For each concept or topic, identify synonyms or related terms - it helps to work with others on this

After step three, you now have some terms to be your keywords, which can be combined in different ways to pull up search results that are relevant to your research. You might discover additional terms during your searching.

Avoiding Plagiarism

It's important to cite your sources

Using someone else's idea without giving them credit is considered plagiarism and academic dishonesty. This can have serious consequences.

Fortunately, it's really easy to avoid.  Cite your sources. Cite all of them - not just textual, but any images, graphs, videos, audio recordings, or data you use.

One reason college students are taught this is because it's expected in the professional academic publishing world.


Data Services at the Library

MME Librarian

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Kristen Adams

If you have questions or need help with research, please contact me at

To schedule a meeting, please email me and let me know your preference for day/time and for in-person or virtual.

209 King Library

ECE Librarian