Skip to Main Content

Literature Reviews

Guidance on conducting a narrative literature review for dissertations and theses

Gather your tools

Before you start the literature review process, take the time to set up the tools you will need.


Download LibKey Nomad.
A browser extension that works with library subscriptions to provide one-click access to the full text of scholarly articles you find on the web.
Connect Google Scholar to UT Libraries.
Set up library links to connect web search results to our subscriptions.

ILLiad is the service you use to place interlibrary loan requests for materials not owned by UT Libraries. You can also request books in our collection that are currently checked out or missing.



Distance Education Students & Faculty

We deliver books, articles, and other materials through ILLiad to remote students, faculty, and staff as well as UT agricultural extension and research agents. See our Distance Education page for details about delivery services.


Citations management software allows you to keep track of your references, insert citations into your document, and create bibliographies. UT Libraries helps support EndNote, Mendeley, and Zotero. See our citation management guide for more information.

Think about how you will manage your literature review. You will want to keep a record of your ideas, decisions, search strategies and results. The resources below provide guidance:

Find the subject librarian and the research guide for your discipline. Subject librarians are expert searchers and know the strengths and weaknesses of the databases. They can help with

  • Formulating your research question.
  • Selecting databases and other information sources for your topic.
  • Evaluating your search strategies.
  • Using citation management software.
  • Tracking down elusive citations and information.
Contact your subject librarian if you have any questions. We're here to help!

Find Examples

Looking at examples can help you envision the final product.

  • Find UT dissertations and theses (Search for the name of your department or advisor.)
  • Search ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global for research conducted at other universities.
  • Explore Annual Reviews, journals that synthesizes the primary research literature in a variety of disciplines.
  • Use databases to find review articles (ask your subject librarian for help).
  • Examine the literature review sections of  scholarly articles you are reading.