How to Properly Write a Literature Review for Your Dissertation

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How to Properly Write a Literature Review for Your Dissertation

Before we move into how to write a good literature review for a dissertation, it is best first to understand what the literature review of a dissertation actually is. This will undoubtedly be quite crucial when it comes to elaborating the whole paper. So let’s start from the beginning.

Understanding what a literature review is

A literature review refers to a document written after the collection and analysis of scholarly material regarding your dissertation. The primary purpose of a literature review is to provide a broad context of the existing research relating to your topic in a context that is academically sound. This means that the source material that was compiled to support your research should also hold the appropriate academic qualifications.

An excellent literature review for a dissertation should:

  1. State what the dissertation is looking to address and the objectives that you hope to achieve.
  2. Explain the strengths and weaknesses of the relevant published sources regarding the study topic.
  3. Discuss the significance of the collected sources in relation to your dissertation. This means that only relevant sources that contain sources regarding your study topic will be considered.
  4. State what the existing research shows and the limitations of the studies.

H2: What to Include in a Literature Review

A literature review is essentially an explanation of all the sources that your research is based on. This means that it should be written clearly and have the sections and information that most scholars would want to have. This means that your dissertation should have all the sections that we have been looking into, as written below;

  1. Introduction – an introduction should always start as the first section of your literature review. This part should indicate the relevant thesis statement that underpins your study. What are the core findings of the research? Where were the challenges encountered in conducting the study and how did they affect your research? Include all the research questions as well as the objectives that your research seeks to answer.
  2. Literature review points – is what you have provided relevant to what you are looking to achieve? Research questions should always be written in full. The section should contain the core arguments being made. In this section, you also need to identify all the crucial sources that can be of help to support your argument. You can choose to use quotes from the sources to back up your research. The argument being made needs to be valid and the methods applied to achieve this be viable and in line with the aim of the study. Don’t forget to give reasons for the choice of the sources.
  3. Literature review limits – you also have to indicate all the limitations in the sources that your research covers. This is very important as it helps you to add more scholarly material into your dissertation. You don’t want to use multiple sources that lack sufficient information, but this should be very obvious.

So now you have all the essential components that make up a good literature review for a dissertation. Make sure that they are listed below;

  1. Frequent reference – it is essential to state all the sources used in your dissertation. This is to assist the readers of your dissertation to find all the sources they need to inform their understanding of the said paper.
  2. Focus group participant – it is always recommended that you use a focus group to help you decide on which literature to review. Doing this will always help you answer the research questions effectively.

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