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ENGR 4961: Senior Design Project (Rusu)

Literature Review

Engineering 390 Fall 2018

Elements of a Literature Review

What is a Literature Review?

  • A literature review summarizes and discusses previous publications on your topic.

  • It should also:

    • explore past research: the results and conclusions, as well as the strengths and weaknesses.

    • be used to validate the target and methods you have chosen for your proposed research.

    • discuss the gaps in the literature that justify the need for your proposed research and ensure the research has not been done before.

    • be completed in the correct citation format requested by your professor

  • From Purdue University College of Engineering's online module for conducting literature reviews:


    • Where to search: Library databases for journal articles and conference procedings. Patent information can also be helpful.
    • How to search: Cast a wide net, then narrow by specific topics. Look at references listed in key articles for additional sources.               
    • How to review articles: read in the following order--abstract, discussion, introduction, results and finally methods. Be sure paper is relevant before reading the introduction and critically evaluate when reading conclusions
    • When to search: Regulary (once per month) to find any new articles or subscribe to RSS feeds


Peer Review in Three Minutes

The Scholarly Review Process

This three-minute video, from NC State University libraries, provides an introduction to the process of peer review and its role in scholarly research, and concludes by pointing to libraries for further help in finding peer-reviewed articles.