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CJ 4400 - Research Methods in Criminal Justice

FALL 2016 - Resources and tips for creating a quality literature review

Literature Review

Literature Review

CJ 4400 calls for you to do a literature review, which is not a research paper

A literature review includes the current knowledge as well as theoretical and methodological contributions to a particular topic. 


A literature review... combines both summary and synthesis. A summary is a recap of the important information of the source, but a synthesis is a re-organization, or a reshuffling, of that information.

-Writing Center, University of NC



  • At least 10 sources including at least 5 empirical sources
  • Scholarly, not popular sources
  • Primary, not secondary sources
  • 3 to 5 pages long

* - Subject to change. Your professor is the final authority on these requirements.

Searching for a Topic

Searching for a Topic

You can use many types of resources when searching for a topic to review.  However, use only scholarly resources in the review itself.

Encyclopedia of Crime and Justice




Top Criminal Justice Journals

More Ideas

Still searching for a topic?

A couple printed works with contributions by Plymouth State faculty

Once You've Found a Topic

Once You Have a Topic

Use Interlibrary Loan

InterLibrary Loan

Your literature review needs to be comprehensive.  You will likely need to include articles we don't have access to.  Use Interlibrary Loan (ILL) to obtain these articles at no cost to you.  ILL usually delivers articles by email within 2 or 3 days of your request.

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Web of Science Tips


Web of Science

These techniques will help you find important authors and articles winin your topic.

Google Scholar Tips


Google Scholar

A free and simple search tool that leads to scholarly articles we subscribe to.

Have Questions?

Don't hesitate to contact a reference librarian for guidance.