How to Write a Literature Review for a Dissertation
For those who are not familiar with the term ‘literature review’, writing one may be a major challenge. They can be complex documents, and they have to follow set guidelines regarding structure, content and writing style. See below a brief explanation to help you write a literature review in case you need dissertation literature review writing help.
What is a Literature Review?
A dissertation literature review comes from research, and at its simplest, may only summarise the arguments found in other sources. More often, however, a review also gives a critical analysis of the arguments that have been found.
A review does not make new contributions, since its purpose is to assess existing ones. Instead, it may identify gaps in the research, and this may form the basis of future papers. It may also provide information about the validity and relevance of sources or may give a new perspective on established interpretations.
A literature review is an essential part of any academic writing, since it demonstrates an understanding of the topic. Because of how important literature reviews are, some dissertation literature review help is included below.
Tips on Writing a Literature Review for Dissertation
Literature review writing can be complex, but you can simplify it by breaking it down into a number of distinct stages:
- Identify your sources. If you haven’t been given a reference list, select your sources based on their relevance to your topic and the aims of the research. Make sure there’s a balance between academic journals and books, and that they include work by reputable scholars.
- Study your sources. The abstract for an article will give an indication of the content, while the introduction and summary are important regarding general aims and outcomes. By reading all your sources, you can understand which are the main ones and identify the research gap—questions that are not answered in the literature. Make notes of all important points that you read.
- Write the review. If you’re not familiar with writing reviews, read some samples to get an idea of the structure and style. Aim to keep your review tightly focused to avoid confusion, and make sure your sources are current in areas that are changing rapidly, such as science and medicine.
Once you’ve got everything sorted out, write your review in a structured manner:
- The introduction states the main topics, arguments and underlying rationale and should be short and clear.
- The body provides an in-depth review of the source and may be structured by theme or argument or chronologically. Organising information by argument tends to be more dynamic and helps with coherence. All paragraphs need to be written to adhere to academic conventions, and they should be concise and avoid personal language. Tutors can often give guidance on writing style.
- The conclusion gives a summary of the literature’s implications and links to the argument.
If you have problems with literature reviews, we at Capstone Editing can provide article editing services to help you. For any other projects you have, we can help with thesis editing, essay editing, developmental editing services and English editing for scientific papers. We can also provide research editors.