When you are just starting on a research project, we recommend you follow these steps.
A literature review is a discussion of current published materials in a particular field or topic of study. Understanding what others have written on your topic is important. You can then use those sources to help you explore your research question to better support your final argument.
Assembling and synthesizing those sources is the first step of a literature review, the foundation of your research. A literature review is not an annotated bibliography. In an annotated bibliography, the researcher analyzes individual articles and/or sources, and provides a summary of each item. A literature review synthesizes and evaluates the literature as it relates to the research question and provides a broad overview of the state of research on a particular topic.
You should be able to synthesize and discuss the important studies and themes of the literature before you make your original argument.
Online tools will help you cite, save, and manage your sources!