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Literature search: 1. Orientation and topic

Overall guide for literature search

Get to know more about a topic

The goal of the orientation is to inform yourself about the topic, and get a first idea of the available (academic) knowledge. The results of the orientation phase should be that you can identify the main concepts of your topic and that you have gathered definitions and theories described in basic literature.

Orientation process

What to do during the orientation process?

  • Write down/record the useful information you find, especially main concepts of your topic. Saving this information makes the next steps easier.
  • Do preliminary searches for the main topic and (new) main concepts you find. The goal is to have a good understanding of these concepts.
    • Search in more general sources such as handbooks, subject guides, news and Google.
    • Non-academic sources are sufficient to use in this stage. Although you have to be more critical of the content.
  • Distinguish the main concepts and less important concepts. Which are really the most important for your research?

Find and choose a topic