Now that you have a narrowed-down and focused topic, it's time to look for what other scholars say about the topic — what new knowledge do they bring into their discussion and how they arrived at their findings.
You could start off with tertiary sources, or those "books and articles that synthesize and report on secondary sources for general readers" (Booth, Colomb, and Williams 69). Tertiary sources may include dictionaries, encyclopedias, and other general references (atlases, almanacs, and even periodicals like newspapers and popular magazines). These sources will provide you an overview of your topic — how scholars define terms, classify elements or aspects of the topic, provide a historical background or context, and outline debates or issues. The secondary and primary sources they cite in their work will lead you to more specific and in-depth information.
Next would be to follow up on these and other secondary sources, or those "research reports that use primary data that solve research problems" (Booth, Colomb, and Williams 69). These research reports (usually found in academic/professional journals and published/unpublished theses and dissertations) provide more detailed information that may be related to your own narrowed-down and focused topic. You can also look at these secondary sources as models for your own research investigation — learning from how the authors approach their research topic, what methods they use to gather and analyze primary data, etc.
Because you will be limited to writing a review paper, you won't be dealing with primary sources or those "raw data [or] evidence [that will] support your claim" (Booth, Colomb, and Williams 69). But by reading secondary sources, you will learn the significance of primary data. These primary sources include data that researchers collect through observations (participant observation method), interviews, surveys, laboratory experiments, etc.
In looking for sources, don't forget to document them using the appropriate format used in your discipline (usually MLA for the Humanities, APA for the Social Sciences, and CBE for the Natural and Applied Sciences). ✍
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Philippines License.