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Developing your search strategy

  • Building a search strategy will help you find relevant current results, and narrow down or broaden your search as necessary
  • You can use key resources to find out about particular resources where you can put this strategy into action
  • The results of your searches will form the basis of your literature review

Interview skills

Interviews can be a good way of collecting qualitative data to support research into your topic. This may be the first time you've had to interview so please follow this useful tutorial from University of Leicester, which takes you through all the points you need to think about.

How to complete a literature review

Need a reminder? Here are a couple of books and other useful explanations of literature reviews and dissertation skills.

 The Literature Review, by Diana Ridley
 The Undergraduate Research Handbook, by Gina Wisker

Basics: what is a literature review?

The answer to this question might seem obvious, but this video has some good, simple analogies of what a literature review is and should aim to do. It is a bit long, but stick with it, and you will come out more clued up at the end!

Going further: how should I structure my literature review?

Student Careers and Skills website goes a bit further, giving you some ideas about how you should structure your literature review, as well as a helpful example.

And finally

You could also try searching in the Library catalogue for "literature review" to find print and e-books we have which might help.

Going beyond Warwick

There are a number of institutions which may find useful resources for your dissertation research. Below are ideas of how to find these resources, and the key institutions to consider visiting.

Remember always to check online or contact an institution first to find out about:

  • access requirements (like registering beforehand, or bringing proof of identity)
  • opening times and directions
  • their collection and whether you have to request any of it before you arrive

Ask your Supervisor or your Academic Support Librarian if you have any more questions about these, or other collections you are interested in.

Can't find it at Warwick?

If you are looking for a book or journal article which we don't have in the Library you can search Copac. Copac enables you to search the catalogues of Unified some of the largest university research libraries in the UK and Ireland. It will include academic libraries near to your home, which you may be able to work in, using the SCONUL access scheme and also includes the British Library.

If you find an item you think Warwick should have then the Library is always interested in developing their collection, so let Richard Perkins know.

British Library

The British Library holds most items published in the English Language. You can search for items in Copac (see above) or in the BL's own catalogue. Some items are kept off site and may need requesting beforehand. For details on registering for a reader pass see the British Library. If you have any questions ask your supervisor or Academic Support Librarian before you go!

BFI Library

The BFI Library on the Southbank has a huge collection of books, academic and trade journals, documents and audio recordings about the world of film and television. The library collection spans the history of cinema. Their priority is comprehensive coverage of moving image in Britain, but the collection is international in scope. Of particular interest are their journals, clippings folders, press books and fan magazines.

The department has a membership card available for the BFI. Please contact Richard Perkins before your visit for more information (and be sure to return the card afterwards). You will find information on their website about Library access, planning your visit, requesting materials (which often needs to be done in advance) and making copies.

British Library Newspaper Reading Room, Colindale

The National Newspaper Archives allow you to trace film and television programmes through popular journalism. Their collections include local and national newspapers as well as overseas items and popular magazines and trade journals

You'll need to register in advance for a Reader Pass and order your material before you arrive. Follow the links to find out more. (Tips: You need to use pencil or a laptop in the search rooms - no pens allowed!)

National Archives, Kew

The National Archives at Kew have historical holdings for example government papers and police and court records. Remember, you cannot take your belongings into the search rooms (there are lockers available) and you must use pencil or your laptop when taking notes (no pens!). There are camera mounts available, for which you must take your own camera, to enable copies of documents to be made.

To consult documents you must obtain a reader's ticket on your arrival, for which you will require certain items for identification. Some items must be ordered in advance, so make sure you check before you visit.

Other useful collections

You may also find it useful to consult items in the British Library at St Pancras, or in the National Art Library at the Victoria and Albert Museum. As always, check on the insitution websites for anything you need to do beforehand, for example registering for a reader pass or requesting materials.

Guides and worksheets

Watch the 'Creating an effective search strategy' video.

Step by step guides