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CRD 500 Research Methods

To support this course on research methods in Community Resources and Development

Literature Reviews

What is a Literature Review?

"A literature review is an account of what has been published on a topic by accredited scholars and researchers. Occasionally you will be asked to write one as a separate assignment, ..., but more often it is part of the introduction to an essay, research report, or thesis. In writing the literature review, your purpose is to convey to your reader what knowledge and ideas have been established on a topic, and what their strengths and weaknesses are. As a piece of writing, the literature review must be defined by a guiding concept (e.g., your research objective, the problem or issue you are discussing, or your argumentative thesis). It is not just a descriptive list of the material available, or a set of summaries."

--Written by Dena Taylor, Health Sciences Writing Centre and available at August 8th, 2011)

Formulating a Research Question

Once you decide your topic for research, how do you develop your search strategy?

Beyond ASU Libraries

Go beyond ASU Library


  • OCLC WorldCat: A searchable database containing millions of records from hundreds of libraries around the world, WorldCat contains records covering books, journals, archival materials, music CDs, and videos as well as many kinds of digital content. This source can help researchers find items, verify citations, and see at which libraries items are available.
  • Government Made Easy: As the U.S. government's official web portal, makes it easy for the public to get U.S. government information and services on the web. Provides trusted, timely, valuable government information and services when and where you want them.

Archives & Digital Libraries

  • ArchiveFinder:  A current directory of repositories and collections of primary source material housed across the United States and the United Kingdom. The material in this collection ranges from pre-historic to modern. 
  • Arizona Archives Online: Provides free public access to descriptions of archival collections, preserved and made accessible by Arizona repositories, including libraries, special collections, archives, historical societies, and museums. Through the collaboration of the Arizona repositories we strive to inform, enrich, and empower the researcher by creating and promoting access to a vast array of primary sources across the state of Arizona.
  • Center for Research Libraries: An international consortium of university, college, and independent research libraries. CRL acquires and preserves newspapers, journals, documents, archives, and other traditional and digital resources from a global network of sources. Use ASU Library's Interlibrary Loan to request materials.
  • HathiTrust Digital Library: A partnership of eighty academic libraries and research institutions that share a digital repository of print works in the public domain and copyright-permitted materials.  For more information see the ASU Library's guide HathiTrust Digital Library.
  • Repositories of Primary Sources: A listing of over 5000 websites describing holdings of manuscripts, archives, rare books, historical photographs, and other primary sources for the research scholar.

Data Repositories

  • Databib: Databib is a tool for helping people identify and locate online repositories of research data.
  • ICPSR: Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research: ICPSR is a comphrehensive archive of digital social science data. As a member institution, ASU affiliates have full access to the data archive and to all of ICPSR's services. To insure full access, create your account on campus.
  • OpenDOAROpenDOAR is an authoritative directory of academic open access repositories. 

Open Education Resources

Research Support

Hours and Locations