Finding literature for your thesis can be overwhelming. You might have a good idea and might already know what you are going for, but the research just does not add up with your thesis. This can be so discouraging. But fear not! Every academic has faced this problem before and here is how to solve it:

  1. Ask your professor. Once you have found a professor who is willing to supervise you while you are writing your thesis, do not hesitate to ask them all your questions. They are here to help. They might have just the book you need or can help you find an author who has looked into the same topics as you. Also, ask the library staff. They know all about their books and where to find what.
  2. Once you have found at least one book supporting your thesis, use it to find more literature. If they managed to find literature supporting their claim, you will too. Have a look at the bibliography of the book. It includes all works referenced and cited in the text, allowing you to access precisely the same sources as the author did.
  3. Check out interlibrary loans. Your university library might not have the books you need – but it sure knows where to get it. Do not hesitate to use the interlibrary loan to gain access to the books supporting your thesis. 
  4. Use articles instead of books. Some topics simply have not been discussed in great detail yet. But you can be sure that some academic somewhere has written down their opinion in an essay or magazine article. Use websites like jstor to get access to articles, book reviews, essays and many more sources online.
  5. Ask your friends. It might not be a surprise to you that literally, every other university student has to write a thesis – sooner or later. They might have already gotten in touch with a professor or addressed their struggles to someone. Share your knowledge and ask others for help. Work together in groups, become study buddies and help each other find just the materials you need for your thesis.

If you still cannot find any literature supporting your thesis, you should consider revising your thesis. You can be sure that you are not the first person thinking about your issue. Maybe someone has done some research on it already and has concluded that the claim is wrong. Read some literature contradicting your thesis and modify it if necessary. Or become the first person to prove that your claim is, in fact, correct. The stage is yours!

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