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Rebecca J. Chapman

Simple Suggestions for an Effective Literature Search

To perform a good and effective literature search is something essential for your degree. Here is some information on how do I write my paper free.

At some point during your degree, to study for a particular exam or to do your final year project, you will need to do a literature search. Therefore, it is important that you know how to find the right information without wasting too much time.

The Write My Paper service provides some rules you should follow for an effective literature search.

Why you need the information

When doing a literature search about a certain topic, it is important to know:

Why you have to look for information on a particular topic

The reason why you need to research a topic affects the kind of information you need to search for. This will be determined by the purpose. For instance, if you need some information about the mechanics of fluids, this will be very different depending on whether you want to study the basic principle of fluids for a first year exam, or if you have to write a third year project report about a particular aspect of their mechanics.

What key information is missing from your knowledge

It is also important to know what you do not have. In this way, you can focus you attention on the missing information, avoiding wasting time on data you already have. A good idea can be to look at notes and/or handouts and summarize them. This will show you which points are incomplete or the parts that are not very clear.

Appropriate sources

Depending on the information you need, you sources will be different as well. The most common ones are books, journals and professional body publications. Here are more details for each one.


They are the most appropriate source of information if you need to know basic concepts and ideas about a subject. For instance if you have to study some foundation concepts of calculus or to revise for an exam, a text book on first year engineering calculus is the best choice.

Te experts from writemypaper.nyc paying attention, to the main limit of the books is that generally they do not include the last updates. This is because the publication process is slow – generally, it takes a long time between the writing of a book and its publication. Therefore, if you need the most recent information, books may not be very useful.


Journals and/or periodicals are normally published regularly, with the precise objective of presenting the latest developments in a particular field. They are, therefore, the most suitable sources to use if you need to know up-to-date information. Review articles are particularly useful for getting a broad and detailed overview of a subject, and they often contain the most up-to-date information at the time of publication.

However, journals generally cover very specific aspects of a topic; hence, you have to already know the foundation concepts about the subject to understand the publication of a journal in the same field. Journals are generally much more useful for a third year project than for a revision for an exam.

Professional body publications

Like the journals, professional body publications are also very specific and tend to have the latest update in a certain field. In general, these publications tend to be more oriented towards the legal and occupational aspects of a profession.

The format will be different, depending on the association. The Institute of Chemical Engineering in the UK (IChemE) for instance, has a series of publications in different journals, covering different aspects of the Chemical Engineering profession.

Use of the internet

The internet is surely a very useful tool to find information. All journals and professional body publications are available also online. Therefore, the internet, gives you a very quick access to these sources. The majority of books, however, are not accessible online.

You will find a Write My Paper Online website with information on every topic imaginable; this can surely help you in your search. However, two main risks are associated to this kind of search:

The information you find may not be very reliable, as anybody can post things on the internet. For this reason, you have to check very carefully the sites where you get information from, if the authors have the competence to talk about that topic. For instance, information about an instrument published in a professional body’s journal will be much more reliable than the one published by the company who wants to sell you the instrument.


To perform a literature search properly is a very time consuming activity, which takes much longer than you think. Therefore, be sure you leave enough time for it, without rushing it at the last minute.

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