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CSPS 7335: Field Research Methods in Public Service

This guide will provide a starting place for those in the Field Research Methods course at the Clinton School of Public Service. Interdisciplinary resources are also included to reflect the multifaceted area of research.

Step 1. Address the Question or Problem

  • You should at this point already have determined your research question and/or thesis statement. In the Literature Review, first address the question or problem within a particular field.


  • Give background information (in a condensed manner) on the issue and why it is important to address the problem . Remember that you should have already given a more detailed explanation in the introduction of the paper.



Step 2. Discuss Others' Research

  • After providing a background on the problem/issue, its important to discuss what others have written on the topic.


  • You should explain how the other researchers approached the problem, and compare the approaches and results of various authors. In addition, explain how their work relates to yours. Compare and contrast is a good means of writing this section.


SJSU Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library

TIP: When searching for academic articles pay close attention to those that have a literature review section to get an understanding of how scholars accomplish the review.

Literature Review Plan

This document is a guide to help keep you organized and remind you of some advanced techniques to research.