Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Literature Review Writing

Writing a dissertation is a tough job. Gathering data and critically analyzing is the main step before starting the write-up of the dissertation. It has many chapters like introduction, literature review, methodology, results, and then discussion. Each section provides new information related to the study. The most difficult part to write is the literature review which comes in Chapter 2.

You probably have an idea about what a literature review is, as you have already passed your master’s thesis. But from the dissertation point of view, it is quite different. Let’s redefine the literature review in terms of the dissertation. It is the longest chapter, as it contains a depth analysis of your study and may last up to 50 pages or more than that. Plus, it also includes citation so it is a tough job to do. The length may vary according to the requirements of the schools and explain everything in detail. Don’t write your literature too short otherwise you may miss some relevant data to it.

It may seem complicated but the process is quite easier if you how and when to do it. Here are some tips for literature review for your dissertation:

How to prepare for it

First, we will figure out how you will prepare for it. The most important for preparing a literature review is that you need to develop a habit of reading. There are tons of papers to which you have analyzed it critically and use them as your reference. Following are guidelines that will help you:

  • Use key terminologies

Find a good database relevant to your field of research. For instance, google scholar is widely used for searching published data. Moreover, it has extensions to journals to which it takes you directly to the paper. All you need is to master the key terminologies that are related to your problem statement. Search papers as much as you can and read them thoroughly. Once you know how to use these keywords, then you will get the broad concept of the topic and have a grip on it.

  • Indulge in literature

People always tell you to read the literature on your topic. Ever wondered why? Because this is all it takes to write a good literature review. Consider it you are wandering in a forest. To get out of there, you need to consider various factors to be in the proper direction that can be wind, birds, etc. Similarly, think the same about literature, try to understand theories, methodology, and reasons for doing it.

  • Include gaps in your study

Characterizing the holes in the writing should help achieve the two points. Recognizing concentrates on related subjects helps put forth the defense that your investigation is significant since different analysts have led related examinations.

  • Organize your material

While looking for gaps and studying the paper, don’t forget to take notes during it. It is frustrating if you want to cite any relevant paper but you can’t find it even though you already read it. Try to organize the papers. You can use software such as EndNote or Mendeley to keep track of your paper.

How to write it

Once you have gathered and organized every single piece of data, then it is time to write it down. Here is the sample outline of writing a literature review for the dissertation.

  1. Proper layout: Outline the content you want to discuss in the literature review. Describe what research has done in the past and what other contributions have been made in this study.
  2. Write in paragraphs: Instead of writing a long paragraph. Write it in a short paragraph. It will engage your reader and easy to comprehend the material.
  3. Add literature related to methodology: You can also discuss the methodology related to your study. Highlight which methods are used in previous research and what are you going to use them.

After following all the steps and paying attention to small details you will be able to write a good literature review. Don’t think of it as a burden just take it as a challenge that will evolve you and eventually make you perfect in it. Take a deep breath and start writing it. Good Luck!!

Leave a Reply