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SOC 20: Social Change in the Modern World: Home


This page will provide you with instructions and resources to conduct a literature review** for your class assignment.

A literature review provides an overview of the scholarly writings published on a topic by scholars and researchers. A good literature review forms the justification for and drives your own research: it is the platform upon which you will build your argument, place your research in context ("They say"), and demonstrate how your research contributes to the broader discussion ("I say").

Specifically, a literature review:

  • Focuses on a particular question, area of research, theory or issue.
  • Provides an overview of the existing literature and knowledge gaps on a topic and reflects a critical analysis of this research. 
  • Demonstrates that you've read extensively in your field, have a thorough understanding of that field, and are capable of intelligently critiquing others' work.


** Many thanks to colleague Kelly Smith for permission to use some of the content from her Literature Review guide.**

How to Use This Guide


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If you need information about what the Library can offer during the campus closure, our COVID-19 response page has up to date information about library services during Spring 2020.


Your Librarian

Alanna Aiko Moore's picture
Alanna Aiko Moore
Librarian for Sociology, Ethnic Studies and Gender Studies
UC San Diego Library