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How to Write the Literature Review of a Dissertation

How to write a literature review for a dissertation

❶One of the main things to understand about writing a literature review is that it is familiar to the process of performing primary research on your topic. Don't forget also, about the dissertation writing service from Oxbridge Essays, which offers a completely customised sample dissertation from which to model your own work.

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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.

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How to Write the Findings of a Dissertation. How to Do a Literature Search First and foremost, you should decide the sources that you would be using for writing a literature review. Building a Conceptual Framework Secondly, you should build a link to the chosen concepts, theories and your topic.

Preparing a Literature Review Layout This layout will serve as a guide as to how to start a literature review. Analyze the Literature Writing a literature is not about explaining the concepts, models and theories. Identify Gaps in Literature This is another aspect that adds strength to your literature review. References Data retrieved from: How to Avoid Plagiarism in a Dissertation Read more. The task of shaping a logical and effective report of a literature review is undeniably challenging.

Some useful guidance on how to approach the writing up is given by Wellington et al In most disciplines, the aim is for the reader to reach the end of the literature review with a clear appreciation of what you are doing; why you are doing it; and how it fits in with other research in your field.

Often, the literature review will end with a statement of the research question s. Having a lot of literature to report on can feel overwhelming. It is important to keep the focus on your study, rather than on the literature Wellington To help you do this, you will need to establish a structure to work to.

A good, well-explained structure is also a huge help to the reader. As with any piece of extended writing, structure is crucial. There may be specific guidance on structure within your department, or you may need to devise your own. Once you have established your structure you need to outline it for your reader.

Although you clearly need to write in an academic style, it can be helpful to imagine that you are telling a story. The thread running through the story is the explanation of why you decided to do the study that you are doing.

The story needs to be logical, informative, persuasive, comprehensive and, ideally, interesting. It needs to reach the logical conclusion that your research is a good idea. If there is a key article or book that is of major importance to the development of your own research ideas, it is important to give extra space to describing and critiquing that piece of literature in more depth.

Similarly, if there are some studies that you will be referring to more than to others, it would be useful to give them a full report and critique at this stage. As well as using tables to display numerical data, tables can be useful within a literature review when you are comparing other kinds of material.

For example, you could use a table to display the key differences between two or more:. The table format can make the comparisons easier to understand than if they were listed within the text.

It can also be a check for yourself that you have identified enough relevant differences. An omission will be more obvious within a table, where it would appear as a blank cell, than it would be within text. Almost all academic writing will need a reference list.

This is a comprehensive list of the full references of sources that you have referred to in your writing. The reader needs to be able to follow up any source you have referred to. A bibliography is not usually necessary or relevant, unless you have been asked to produce one.

This experience is common in PhD study, but it can happen at any level, and can feel as if you have wasted a lot of effort. Looking at this positively, however, you have probably read more widely than you might otherwise have done. That probably confirms that it was a good question to ask! Although this can feel very disappointing at first, it can often be transformed into a benefit. It is important that your research fits logically within the existing research in your area, and you may have found an ideal study to link with and to extend in some way.

Firstly, this is unlikely. Perhaps if you modify your search strategy you will find something. Check out whether there is an important reason why the research has not been done, which would make it sensible for you to choose a different focus. If you do decide to go ahead, then take extra care designing your research, in the absence of guidance from previous studies.

Ploughing a little-known furrow as a novice researcher is going to be very difficult, and you may find it difficult to get much support or help. An important aspect of your thesis and your viva, is that you can show how your research fits with other research. This will be just as important when there is limited existing research in your area, as when there is an abundance. Once you have a first draft of your literature review it is possible for you to assess how well you have achieved your aims.

One way of doing this is to examine each paragraph in turn, and to write in the margin a very brief summary of the content, and the type of content e.

These summaries then provide the outline of the story you are telling, and the way that you are telling it. Both of these are important and need to be critically reviewed. Beware of becoming too attached to your writing. You need to be ready to cross out whole paragraphs or even whole sections if they do not pass the above tests. A literature review is an account of what has been published on a topic by accredited scholars and researchers. In writing the literature review for your dissertation, your purpose is to convey to your reader what knowledge and ideas have been established on a topic, and what their strengths and weaknesses are.

As a piece of writing, the literature review must be defined by a guiding concept e. It is not just a descriptive list of the material available, or a set of summaries. Besides enlarging your knowledge about the topic, writing a literature review lets you gain and demonstrate skills in two areas:. A literature review is a piece of discursive prose , not a list describing or summarizing one piece of literature after another. It's usually a bad sign to see every paragraph beginning with the name of a researcher.

Instead, organize the literature review into sections that present themes or identify trends, including relevant theory. You are not trying to list all the material published, but to synthesize and evaluate it according to the guiding concept of your thesis or research question.


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In your review of literature you are expected to do the following: Place one's original work in the context of existing literature. Interpret the major issues surrounding your topic.

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A Guide to Writing the Dissertation Literature Review Justus J. Randolph Walden University 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. It begins with a.

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Dissertation: Literature Review Section. Writing a literature review for a dissertation is one of the main ways to demonstrate that you have made a strong research for your dissertation and have a strong academic background in your field. Writing the literature review of a dissertation is one of the most challenging tasks. Literature review is usually the second section of a dissertation. Literature review is usually the second section of a dissertation.

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As a general guide, a dissertation literature review will account for approximately ten to fifteen per cent of a dissertation. However, there are some dissertations, for example within subjects such as nursing, where the literature review may account for significantly more. The literature review is. Writing a Literature Review in a dissertation 4 | P a g e your dissertation topic and field of study Headings/Sub-headings In order to allow cross-referencing of chapters/information in your dissertation, it is important to structure the chapters/sections of your dissertation using numbered headings and sub-headings.