Skip Nav

Top 10 tips for writing your dissertation literature review

How to write a literature review for a dissertation

❶How to do your dissertation secondary research in 4 steps.

What is a dissertation literature review? Example




Try to draw working conclusions about the current balance of opinion concerning certain controversies, suggest what you believe to be the emergent or future trends in the field, identify deficiencies in current knowledge and relate your own position to that of others. The need to consult a broad range of material has already been stated, but consider also the validity of the sources you review. In some subject areas classic texts retain their authority for literally thousands of years; cutting edge scientific research will need to be more mindful of the dangers of consulting obsolete data.

Key themes provide a natural structuring principle in a literature review, as do categories based on relevance to research questions, academic position, theoretical paradigm, chronology, and so on. Part of your analysis of reviewed material will almost certainly involve a consideration of the theoretical underpinning of each source, inherent working assumptions, paradigmatic aims, and so on.

Explicitly articulate the rationale behind the theoretical aspect to your own findings and the position you have reached by the end of the literature review. A standard consideration in any review, but one worth being reminded of nonetheless. How authoritative is the writer? Is the author widely cited? Has later response in the literature provided damning critique of the work in question, or considerable support?

Recent Posts How often should you reference? A great example of a reflective essay How to write a captivating conclusion to your essay How to write a dissertation literature review: How to structure an essay Top 10 essay referencing tips.

The Ultimate Guide to Writing a Dissertation. Top 10 tips for writing your dissertation literature review. What is a literature review? What should a dissertation literature review include?

Questions Do not begin analysing the literature before clarifying in your own mind the research questions that will guide your dissertation. Wide search In order to write a satisfactory literature review you must demonstrate your ability to search out relevant material from a wide variety of sources. Significance over content A common mistake in writing a literature review is to get bogged down in flat descriptions of the content of the many books, journals articles and reports that you have been reading.

Key themes It will be necessary to identify, draw out, explain, interpret and evaluate key themes that emerge from the literature you have been studying. Critical attitude Nothing must make it into your literature review which has not been scrutinised, questioned and dissected. Findings Beyond the identification of key themes and issues, it will be necessary to reach certain findings in light of your analysis of the relevant literature. This is really good. I'm doing a masters this year 19 years after leaving university, and this will help a lot!

Googled you in desperation after having to do the third re-write of my PhD lit review! Thanks so much, I will use your method in my Ph. That's quite a list of helpful things to do. I think these steps will assures output in the end.

I am a student and now I am writing my thesis literature review and I am very grateful for your post as it is a great help for me. I have been helping out a PHD candidate as a research assistant and often feel lost as I only hold an undergraduate. This is round 2 and I wish I had this guideline when I was an undergrad many moons ago. It makes sense, it looks simple and I can keep the timeline on track which is the critical part of my support. Friday, October 7, Writing a Literature Review: Writing a literature review is often the most daunting part of writing an article, book, thesis, or dissertation.

I have found it helpful to be as systematic as possible in doing this gargantuan task. In their book, Destination Dissertation: I think it provides an excellent guide for getting through the massive amounts of literature for any purpose: Decide on your areas of research Before you begin to search for articles or books, decide beforehand what areas you are going to research.

Make sure that you only get articles and books in those areas, even if you come across fascinating books in other areas. Search for the literature: Conduct a comprehensive bibliographic search of books and articles in your area. Find books in the library that are relevant and check them out. Set a specific time frame for how long you will search. It should not take more than two or three dedicated time sessions.

Find relevant excerpts in your books and articles: Skim the contents of each book and article and look specifically for these five things: Claims, conclusions, and findings about the constructs you are investigating Definitions of terms Calls for follow-up studies relevant to your project Gaps you notice in the literature Disagreement about the constructs you are investigating When you find any of these five things, type the relevant excerpt directly into a Word document.

Make sure to note the name of the author and the page number following each excerpt. Do this for each article and book that you have in your stack of literature.

When you are done, print out your excerpts. Code the literature Get out a pair of scissors and cut each excerpt out. Now, sort the pieces of paper into similar topics. Figure out what the main themes. Place each excerpt into a themed pile. Make sure each note goes into a pile.

When you finish, place each stack of notes into an envelope labeled with the name of the theme. Create Your Conceptual Schema Type, in large font, the name of each of your coded themes.

Print this out, and cut the titles into individual slips of paper. Take the slips of paper to a table or large workspace and figure out the best way to organize them. Are there ideas that go together or that are in dialogue with each other?

Are there ideas that contradict each other? What is a dissertation literature review? Example A good sample literature review for dissertation is a analytical overview of the literature on your topic. The purposes of writing a literature review are: Indentifying gaps in the previous research; Helping to avoid the topics and questions that do not require any research; Setting the background on the areas that has been already explored; Helping to identify similar works in the subject area; Allowing to set the intellectual context with previous related research; Providing a writer with the opposite points of view; Helping to define effective methods applicable to your project.

How to write a literature review for a dissertation Take a look at the list below. What supporting arguments should be included? Construct evidence that distinguishes relevant studies and excludes irrelevant ones. How are you going to find relevant argumentation?

Determine which materials are potentially worth of examining. What discovered arguments should be included in the literature review? Explain criteria to define valid and invalid sources. Data analysis and interpretation.


Main Topics

Privacy Policy

Determine which literature makes a significant contribution to the understanding of your topic. Point the way to further research on your topic. Content of the Literature Review. The Literature Review must be well structured, and your ideas must flow logically from one point to the next. Ensure sources and references are current and relevant, cited .

Privacy FAQs

Writing a faulty literature review is one of many ways to derail a dissertation. This article summarizes some pivotal information on how to write a high-quali ty dissertation literature review.

About Our Ads

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. Thesis Literature Review: Home About Contact The beauty of this method is that literature reviews for most scientific research theses, dissertations, and journal articles, write themselves! So on with the show. How to write a Literature Review for a Research Paper Thesis. 1. Gather all your papers and articles.

Cookie Info

The dissertation literature reviews below have been written by students to help you with preparing your own literature review. These literature reviews are not the work of our professional dissertation writers. 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.