Skip Nav

How to Write the Literature Review of a Dissertation

Top dissertation literature review tips

❶You should make sure that your entire literature review is backed up with references.

Why do I need a literature review?

Table of contents
What is a literature review?

When you are writing your dissertation, you will undoubtedly be required to undertake a literature review. But what exactly does this mean? How should you structure this review in the first place, and then how should you incorporate the information you find into your own work?

Table of contents What is a literature review? Literature roadmap How should you refer to your sources? A literature review in a dissertation is a method used to gather knowledge that already exists in relation to a particular topic or problem.

This information can be found in various sources, such as journal articles, books, papers, theses, and archival material. Conducting literature research provides insight into existing knowledge and theories related to your topic. It also ensures that your dissertation has a strong scientific grounding. When conducted properly, a literature review will not result in a simple list or summary of the available data. Your goal is instead to critically discuss the most relevant ideas and information that you have found as part of your theoretical framework.

The literature review in a dissertation serves as a real cornerstone for analyzing the problem being investigated. Depending on the structure of your dissertation, it may also be used as the basis for developing a comprehensive theoretical framework.

Once you have a general idea of the problem and research questions you would like to address in your dissertation, the first step is often to begin reviewing the literature.

This is a valuable way to better orient yourself within the field and hone in more precisely on the problem you will investigate. The insights into the existing knowledge and theories that you will gain though the literature review will also help you to establish a strong scientific starting point for the rest of your research. After you have identified a clear problem statement and research question s , the next step is to delve more deeply into your subject and the relevant literature.

This can be a real challenge, given the amount of literature available and the limited time you may have to write your dissertation. It is therefore important to tackle the process in the most efficient and systematic way possible. Following our four-step roadmap will help you to conduct your literature review in a dissertation effectively. This first step involves orienting yourself to the subject in order to get a more global picture of the area of inquiry.

It also entails making a list of keywords, which will serve as the basis for the next step. This preparatory work now makes it much easier to search for specific literature and other sources.

This search often starts online. Using the right keywords is of great importance, which is why the first step of this roadmap is to compile a list. Search for these terms in English as well as any other languages that you have a reading knowledge of. It is also helpful to try using both synonyms and different combinations of terms.

This usually means that this individual has done a lot of research on the topic. It is likely that you will uncover an overwhelming amount of literature. We suggest rating the literature you have found first on relevance, then on scientific quality. Relevance A relevant publication is one that fits with your topic or problem very well.

To determine the relevance of a book or article without having to read it in its entirety, start with just the introduction and conclusion. This will often provide you with enough information to judge whether the publication is relevant to your work. As a general rule, try to use only articles that have been published in leading journals. A lot of students do not conclude the section in a separate heading which might leave your reader a little confused at the end.

Thus, make sure that all these sections are included in your literature review. Make sure that the pattern is logical and each concept follows the other. Next you will need to write the discussion section.

This is where you make an impact by including concept, theories and models related to your topic. You should always make sure there are different body paragraphs and the discussion section contains different headings. This will offer easy readability to the readers, and will also help you discuss the theories and other related literature in a logical manner.

Each paragraph should state a different point and most importantly, the first line of each paragraph should be a topic sentence. This means that by reading the first line, readers should get an idea as to what this paragraph will talk about. When explaining the theories, you can add direct quotes, but make sure that you cite them accurately. Not doing so might result in penalization.

Presenting a critical view and analyzing the literature is another aspect that you should focus on while writing your literature review this will be discussed later in this article.

This adds depth to your work and will help you to present a literature review that is well thought, well researched and well written. Then comes the conclusion section of the literature review.

In this section you should discuss the main concepts of the literature review. If you include new concepts and theories in your conclusion, your literature review would be considered as vague. Your overall perspective of the topic and what you have gauged from the literature search and researches should be presented in this part.

Furthermore, your concluding part should also include the gaps of the researches and you should present areas for further research and improvement this will be discussed towards the end of the article.

Writing a literature is not about explaining the concepts, models and theories. You cannot just state what has been said or found in the past researches. You have to be analytical about the theories and concepts you are discussing. You need to understand how the researches link to your topic, what are the major trends and patterns that should be considered, what are similarities and differences between the sources and how these sources are helpful in conducting the present research.

This analysis should be presented in an unbiased manner. Refrain from expressing your own personal views, but make sure that the analysis is based on facts and is backed by researches as well. This is another aspect that adds strength to your literature review. Not all researches have covered each and every aspects of all topics. There is always something that needs to be researched, and with the world evolving at such a dynamic pace, there are concepts that need to be explored.

When writing your literature review, find out what more could have been studied and researched. Find out whether researches over those concepts have been conducted or not.

If not, you could include them as a gap in the literature review and can suggest that researching them would help in learning more about the concept.

Also, you could suggest improvements in the said area and can explain as to why improvement is needed, and once done, how the research would help in improving future researches. You should make sure that your entire literature review is backed up with references. A recommended type of citation includes referencing every paragraph or after every words. This gives an impression that you have thoroughly researched, and know where your information is coming from.

Even though the whole literature review should contain appropriate amount of referencing, but special attention should be paid when analyzing literature. This part requires proper and accurate referencing. At Research Prospect We realize that a lot relies on the Literature Review of a Dissertation , thus we make sure that the best literature review is delivered to you in a timely manner.

All you have to do is to provide us with the topic, and we assure that our literature review will be nothing less than the best.


Main Topics

Privacy Policy

Writing a Literature Review As an academic writer, you are expected to provide an analytical overview of the significant literature published on your topic. If your audience knows less than you do on the topic, your purpose is instructional.

Privacy FAQs

Randolph, Dissertation Literature Review framework for the self-evaluation of literature reviews concludes the article. Purposes for Writing a Literature Review Conducting a literature review is a means of demonstrating an author’s knowledge about a particular.

About Our Ads

What is a Literature Review? A literature review surveys scholarly articles, books, dissertations, conference proceedings and other resources which are relevant to a particular issue, area of research, or theory and provides context for a dissertation by identifying past research. In a dissertation, the aim of a literature review is to explore and discuss key published material relating to your dissertation topic and research questions. This is.

Cookie Info

When to review the literature. With small-scale writing projects, the literature review is likely to be done just once; probably before the writing begins. With longer projects such as a dissertation for a Masters degree, and certainly with a PhD, the literature review process will be more extended. Sep 08,  · A literature review in a dissertation is a method used to gather knowledge that already exists in relation to a particular topic or problem. This information can be found in various sources, such as journal articles, books, papers, theses, and archival material/5().