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29 Mar 2021

How To Write Dissertation Review Of Literature?

So, you have been asked to write a review of the literature by your professor. Isn’t it simple? Just settle down in a chair, have a look at some of the journals and articles, and get a cup of coffee in your hand. By doing this, you shall be able to write your review of the literature, right? Not quite!

If we talk about the overall percentage of review of literature in a dissertation, it should not be more than 10-15% of your dissertation (in terms of primary research). If your topic is more extensive and you are working literature-based, you will be required to write a lot of literature review to get the job done. In order to write a review of the literature for any sort of a dissertation, you need to study a lot, and the study has to be in-depth.

When you are writing a review of literature, you are looking at a gap to fill, which is there in the researches of some other individuals. You are supposed to find that gap and fill that gap to make a mark as far as your review of literature is concerned. A review of the literature gives you an opportunity to showcase your critical analysis skills. By combining your critical analysis and writing skills, you will be able to come up with an astounding review of literature that will tick all the boxes of a perfect review of the literature.

How To Write Dissertation Literature Review?

If you want to write your review of the literature, and you don’t know where to start and what to do, read this guide thoroughly. We make sure to answer all the possible questions related to the review of the literature. If you read this guide with care and dedication, you will be able to write a review of the literature for your dissertation at the end of this guide. Shall we start now? Let’s get the ball rolling!

What Is A Review Of The Literature?

In simple words, a review of literature gives a critical assessment of the sources you have collected during your research in order to find a gap in those pieces of literature. Your research will be a sort of attempt to identify those gaps. A review of literature can also be defined as a survey of some authentic and scholarly articles to give an overview of a specific topic.

Literature reviews are the collection and gathering of scientific publications on your topic. You need to collect those scientific publications to get an idea of what sort of work has been done on the topic in the past. The length of a literature review depends on the instruction of your institute or supervisor, and before starting to write your dissertation review of literature, make sure to discuss it with your professor.

Usually, students misunderstand a review of the literature. There are some specific details that have to be in a literature review. A review of literature is no more than a critical summary of some of the important sources of your dissertation. Try to add literature which is absolutely related to your topic on what you want to have a critique on. What are your interpretations of a specific field? Does your interpretation differ from the point of view of literature? These are the types of questions you need to answer while writing a review of the literature. Critical engagement of this level is required to make your review of literature paramount.

By writing the summary of the literature, you can make the whole process a lot easy for the readers to understand the literature. A review of literature can come up with a new perspective on classical research, or it may be the combination of both new and old. By writing a source, you are making your reader aware of the validity, pertinence, and relevance of research. This is what readers will be looking forward to while reading your review of the literature. It is not an easy task to do because you need to be scientifically perfect to make it happen for your dissertation review of the literature.

How To Write Dissertation Literature Review?

 There are some basic components of a review of the literature, and those are:

  1. a description of the publication
  2. a summary of the publication’s main points
  3. a discussion of gaps in research
  4. an evaluation of the publication’s contribution to the topic

What is the difference between a literature review and an annotated bibliography?

Students often get confused between a bibliography and a review of the literature. There is a hell of a difference, and we are here to clear the difference between these two terms. An annotated bibliography is more of a list of your references, while on the other hand, a review of literature is a sort of explanation and overview of research. In a review of the literature, you let the readers know how publications are different from each other even after covering the same topic.

What is the purpose of a literature review?

The purpose of writing a review of literature is to give an overview of the work which has been done on a certain topic. A reviewer writes a review of the literature to establish his/her own position in the existing field. A literature review provides detailed and comprehensive information to a reader that what sort of work has been done on the topic and what were the outcomes of those researches.

How do you write a dissertation literature review?

Here in this guide, we have elaborated on the steps you can follow to write a fabulous dissertation review of the literature. Understanding a review of the literature isn’t an easy job, which is why these steps will help you understand the topic in a better way. To sum up, we can say that you need to identify the source at first. After the identification of sources, you are supposed to re-read those sources. After re-reading, looking for any possible gaps in research (this is most critical in terms of review of literature), and at the end, write your review.

Identification of sources

In order to write a sound review of the literature, you need to be aware of the sources you are going to write in your review of the literature. If you have some instructions which are given by your professor, make sure to follow them while writing your dissertation review of the literature.  

It is compulsory to add only balanced sources. The sources which are available in a renowned scientific journal or in an authentic book can only be included in a review of the literature. The work of a reputable scholar can also be used as a source. There are some parameters which you need to keep in mind while selecting sources for your review of the literature. In your literature review, what sort of issue are you aiming to tackle? What kind of methodology you have for your dissertation? What kind of studies you will be focusing on, qualitative or quantitative? Maybe a mixture of both? These are the types of questions you need to answer while writing sources for your review of the literature.

It is suggested to have a quick look at the abstract and your keywords when you are choosing sources for your review of the literature. When you are sure about your abstract and the keywords, you will be able to pick sources that are related to you.

Read and re-read your sources

Once you have selected and organized your sources, it is legitimate to read them, again and again, to look for any irrelevant source. It is recommended to read those sources in a couple of stages, and for your convenience, here are the stages:

At first, read the content of your source. By reading the content of your sources, you will be able to understand the arguments of your selected source. You are aware of your topic, and after reading the wording of a source, you can make a decision whether this source is suitable for your literature or not. After reading your sources, look at them again, now in a more evaluative manner. Make notes of your sources and ask yourself questions related to your literature. What is your personal opinion on the text of your selected source? Do you agree with the hypothesis and methodological parameters? Once you get answers to these questions, write those answers in your notes, and make a summary. That summary will give you an idea of what to add in your review of the literature and what not to add.  

Identify gaps in the research

When you are writing a dissertation literature review, it is expository to identify the research gap. In order to increase the pertinence of your research, you are required to look for a gap. You need to prove that your research is good enough to fill all the gaps in other researches. In simple words, we can say that, if you manage to identify any gap in the research, it will score you some extra valuable points.  

Before the identification of the gap, one needs to know what does the term “gap” means. If a research question hasn’t been answered properly or entirely in the research, this will be called as a research gap. By identifying a gap in the research, you will be able to highlight the originality of your research. Your identification will give the impression that you are not only here to complete your dissertation or research, but you are here to improve the overall impact of a field. Identification of gap will also give a message to your supervisor how much effort you have put into your research and review of the literature.  

It is extremely difficult to point out or identify a gap at a post-graduate level. Post-graduate student needs to read the entire paper with the utmost care. The techniques we have written in the upper section can be used to identify a gap in the research.

Write your review

Now you are ready to write your review of the literature. In order to write a review of the literature for your dissertation, follow these steps:

How To Write Dissertation Literature Review?

Use easily understandable reviews of literature

Have a look at the database of your field and try to use those reviews of literature that are more related and relevant to your fields and topics. If you are looking to structure your review of literature, this will help you a lot. If you are not familiar with academic writing, the best thing you can do is to have a look at some of the samples of your field and plan your review of literature accordingly. It is essential to understand the language for all the readers. Readers will read your review of literature, thinking it as an easy version of normal literature.  

Keep it as simple as possible

When you are writing a review of the literature, you are supposed to keep your topic as simple as possible. Remember one thing; there are numerous other individuals who are working on the same topic. You need to stay focused on your topic to make sure your review of literature can beat any other literature. When you are working on a topic, you can cover a single aspect of that topic efficiently. If you try to cover the entire topic, you end up on the losing side. Be very to the point as far as your topic and review of literature is concerned. In your review of the literature, make sure to stick to a particular aspect of your topic. By limiting the scope of your work, you can make this job a lot easier for you.  

Try to write as current sources as possible

When you are writing your review of the literature, it is recommended to have as many currents and up to data sources as possible. Try to write such sources that are a few years old. As far as the medical fields are concerned, after every three years, data get updated. This rule does not apply in social sciences, which is why the students of social sciences have been a lot more conscious while writing sources in their review of the literature.  

Make sure to organize your work

While you are writing a dissertation review of literature, it is essential to organize your work; otherwise, things will be humdrum. It is not about writing the text. It is about managing the text and reading, again and again, to make sure you are adding relevant data in your dissertation review of the literature. You need to organize your arguments as well in order to tick all the boxes for writing a review of the literature.

Some useful pieces of advice to write a review of the literature

Writing a dissertation review of literature can be very hectic and time-consuming for the students. If you are finding it difficult to write your dissertation review of literature, you can read our tips. After reading those tips, you will be able to write a review of the literature that can get you to your desired grade. Some of the tips are given below:

How To Write Dissertation Literature Review?

Don’t describe the writer’s opinion

You are not supposed to write the opinion of the writer. You need to analyze the point of view of a writer. You are the writer of your dissertation, and you need to critically analyze the point of view of a writer whose data you are using in your literature review.  

Provide shreds of evidence

The data you are putting in your dissertation review of literature has to be backed by some sound and credible pieces of evidence. A dissertation is a scientific form of writing, which is why there has to be the presence of some proofs and evidence. If you write baseless claims, it will harm your dissertation review of the literature.  

Make sure to follow the structure

As far as the structure is concerned, you need to keep in mind the methodological approaches. If there are some controversial issues that need to be addressed, make sure to do that. Your review of the literature has to be very dynamic. A dynamic review of literature cannot not only impress your supervisor, but it can make your dissertation review of literature credible. If there are some literature gaps you have found during your research, make sure to identify those gaps.  

Be selective

It is not necessary to share every piece of research in your review of the literature. At first, make sure to acknowledge the work of others, and if you find that work worthy, you can add that review of literature in your dissertation. Only the sources which are related to your topic can be there in your dissertation review of the literature.  

Do not rely too much on direct quotes

It is recommended not to rely heavily on the work of a single author. When you are writing a review of the literature, you need to add the work of multiple authors. Once you have written the work of an author, it is suggested to move on to a new researcher. Most of the students try to summarize the work of an author, which is an absolutely wrong technique to write your review of the literature. Make sure to agree or disagree with the author.  

Be confident!

If you write your dissertation review of literature in your assignment, make sure to write it with a great amount of confidence. The best way to make yourself confident about your work is to critically analyze a topic. If you are giving your opinion in the right context, your dissertation review of literature will get an appreciation for sure.

We have written this guide for the students all around the globe who are struggling to write a review of literature for their dissertation. Most probably, you will be able to write your review of the literature after reading this guide. If you don’t have time and if you are still unsure about this chapter of your dissertation, place an order, and we’ll write it for you. Our services are available for our clients 24/7. Make your move now. The clock is ticking!

Carla Roberts

Carla Roberts is a professional blog and article writer. She has recently completed her Ph.D. from University of Derby. She has a teaching experience of 6 years, and for the last 8 years, she has been writing business related case studies and assignments.