How to write a literature review for dissertation

Dissertation review

Your arguments and interpretation of a research topic must be backed by evidence. Thematic analysis will not only demonstrate a genuine engagement with the literature, but provide you with a scaffold on which to build the body of your text. Consider the following when assessing whether to include each work in your review of literature: Qualifications: What are the author's credentials to make the judgments he or she has made? The thread running through the story is the explanation of why you decided to do the study that you are doing. Consider this paragraph from a literature review about stakeholder participation for environmental management, to clarify the discussion that follows: Despite the rhetoric and the concerns that have been expressed, there have been few attempts to investigate the validity of the many claims that have been made for stake-holder participation Webler, ; Beierle, ; Brody, ; Blackstock et al. Your ideas should be at the center of your writing, but your work has to be embedded in what has come before to demonstrate its relevance and importance to the subject. Your interpretation may be self-evident to you, but it may not be to everyone else. 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. In a literature review, you're aiming to summarise and provide a critical analysis of the research arguments you have found in your readings, without making new contributions to the literature. Interpret the major issues surrounding your topic.

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.

how to write a literature review for dissertation

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.

extended literature review dissertation

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.

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How to Write a Literature Review for a Dissertation: 12 Steps