Skip to main content

Writing a Literature Review: Phase 4: Evaluating Information

Tips on writing a literature review (in any subject).

Need to be Objective

In evaluating what they've read and deciding what to include in the lit. review, researchers should, of course, be objective. They must

  • avoid shunning information that contradicts their own views.
  • keep open minds.
  • look at the topic from different vantage points.
  • in short, act in a scholarly manner.

Types of Questions to Ask When Assessing Readings

In writing a literature review skilled researchers evaluate their sources and evidence very carefully. For example, they ask such questions as:

  • Who funded the research studies? For example, what credence can be given to a study on African American IQs funded by the Ku Klux Klan?
  • Who actually performed the research?
  • When and where were the studies carried out?
  • What were the political, socio-economic, religious, etc. conditions at the time of the research?
  • Is there any reason to suspect that the methodology or the interpretation of the results were restrained by some authority? For example, what should a researcher conclude about medical experiments performed in Nazi Germany?

Library Liaison

Mary Kate Boyd-Byrnes's picture
Mary Kate Boyd-Byrnes
Contact:
B. Davis Schwartz Memorial Library
Room 237
720 Northern Boulevard
Brookville, NY 11548
516-299-4145