Remember — a good literature review not only provides important background to your own dissertation writingbut also helps to show where your dissertation will fit into the field. A skill that helps in curtailing the reading is: knowing where to set boundaries.
The thread running through the story is the explanation of why you decided to do the study that you are doing.
An electronic search may throw up a huge number of hits, but there are still likely to be other relevant articles that it has not detected. It should outline the focus of the review — in other words, it should clearly state the main topics to be covered.
Below is a detailed guide on how to do this: Think about the basic structure first Like any other academic paper, a dissertation literature review will comprise a basic introduction, body, and conclusion.
Rather than simply a list of different writers in the field and their opinions, your literature review should give a clear idea of the whole field as it currently stands, describing different bodies of literature, providing varying standpoints on the important issues, and indicating where general opinions have recently changed or are currently being challenged.Whilst in some cases a dissertation literature review can be a simple summary of important sources, most often it requires you to critically engage with the text to convey your opinions of it, as well as any critiques that you may have. Do you have any comments on the methodological approach, the theoretical argument or the general hypothesis? Make sure that your sources are balanced; include enough books and academic journals and any useful published work from reputable scholars. As you review the references, remember to be a critical reader see Study Guide What is critical reading? Depending on the length of your literature review, you can combine several of these strategies—for example, your overall structure might be thematic, but each theme is discussed chronologically. It is essential to check that you have constructed your synthesis well, and with sufficient supporting evidence. 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. For example, you could use a table to display the key differences between two or more: possible theoretical perspectives;.
Another way of organising your content is according to theme; or sub-themes, if your review focuses on one overarching topic. Our expert academic writers can help.