How to structure a literature review dissertation, when...

There are exceptions at post-graduate level or generally — like when you have conducted your own primary research or published your work widely — which give you the academic authority to boldly make claims. What social setting? In practice, this process will ensure that the review remains concisely tailored to the topic discussed.

Is this article helpful? You should have a rough idea of your strategy before you start writing. You may also want to make a clear decision about whether to start with a very narrow focus and work outwards, or to start wide before focussing in. To help you do this, you will need to establish a structure to work to.

Be selective. Trawl online databases for useful dissertations and articles by using their abstracts to consider relevance, use all available university, college and departmental college admission essay common application, consult the web for extra resources, and follow footnotes. If you attend a conference or workshop with a wider group of people, perhaps from other universities, you can take the opportunity to ask other attendees for recommendations of articles or books relevant to your area of research.

writing good literature review how to structure a literature review dissertation

Nevertheless, there are some essential steps that apply across all disciplines and that you should ensure you follow: Your literature review should be as comprehensive as possible, mentioning all the major theorists or writers in the field of your dissertation subject.

Once you have established your structure you need to outline it for your reader.

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Whereas a summary will most likely provide a simple recap of the general arguments of the source sthe expectations concerning a literature review extend beyond this. Look at what results have emerged in qualitative versus quantitative research Discuss how the topic has been approached by empirical versus theoretical scholarship Divide the literature into sociological, how to structure a literature review dissertation, and cultural sources Theoretical A literature review is often the foundation for a theoretical framework.

Not quite. Will you focus on mainly qualitative or quantitative studies, or a mixture of both? You can then begin your process of evaluating the quality and relevance of what you read, and this can guide you to more focussed further reading. What new insight will you draw from the literature? The ability to review, and to report on relevant literature is a key academic skill.

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Do cover letter for enclosed signed contract make baseless claims, as a literature review is an academic piece of writing and not an opinion piece. Writing it up The task of shaping a logical and effective report of a literature review is undeniably challenging.

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Introduction The introduction should clearly establish the focus and purpose of the literature review. In other instances, identifying the gap is an indication of good critical analysis and can score you extra points. The thread how to structure a literature review dissertation through the story is the explanation of why you decided to do the study that you are doing.

How to write a dissertation literature review: an in-depth guide | Oxbridge Essays

It may also focus on historical considerations. Summarize and synthesize: Dissertation literature review If you are writing the literature review as part of your dissertation or thesis, reiterate your central problem or research question and give a brief summary of the scholarly context.

Help is available regarding how to avoid plagiarism and it is worth checking it out. Often, the literature review will end with a statement of the research question s. Ensure that you reference your work correctly And make sure you use the appropriate referencing style. What geographical area? Do not simply essay 1 9th class question paper the opinions of writers Analyse, analyse, analyse, and ensure that your analysis is critical what have the writers missed; where does your opinion sit with theirs, etc.

What social setting?

Top 10 tips for writing your dissertation literature review | Oxbridge Essays Note these down.

Wellington et al Based on your reading and notes, you can look for: A research gap is essentially the existence of a research question, perspective or problem that has not been answered in the existing literature on any field of study. In some subject areas classic texts retain their authority for literally essay 1 9th class question paper of years; cutting edge scientific research will need to be more mindful of the dangers of consulting obsolete data.

Doing a literature review — University of Leicester

So, despite having access to electronic databases and to electronic searching techniques, it can be surprisingly useful to have a pile of journals actually on your desk, and to look through the contents pages, and the individual articles. Biological conservation, 10pp. Consider this statement: You have options here — you can choose to organise the content of your work based on a chronological method, based on themes, trends or methodology, or based on arguments.

Remember also to generally use present tense when referring to opinions and theories although in the context of specific research experiments, the use of the past tense is better.

Top 10 tips for writing your dissertation literature review

Why do I need a literature review? Am I looking at issues of theory? If there is a key article or book that is of major importance to the development of your how to structure a literature review dissertation research ideas, it is important to give extra space to describing and critiquing that piece of literature in more depth. Merriam EndNote and RefWorks are software packages that you can use to collect and store details of your references, and your comments on them.

In your literature reviewwhat theoretical issues or perspectives do you aim to tackle? Make sure that your sources are balanced; include enough books and academic journals and any useful published work from reputable scholars. Paragraphs giving the title of each book and then summarising their contents do not constitute a literature review.

Table of contents

For more help on this, click here. The body of your research may also include additional sections that do not necessarily form a part of its organisational structure. The citation tools attached to these programmes will also allow you to simply export citations in a format of your choice when required later.

Try to analyze patterns, turning points and key debates that have shaped the direction of the field. These are questions that you will already probably be asking yourself. Reed, M.

  • Interpretation You need to be actively involved in interpreting the literature that you are reviewing, and in explaining that interpretation to the reader, rather than just listing what others have written.

Having a lot of literature to report on can feel overwhelming. In your review, ensure that you clearly state what the focus of your work will be. It also shows that you are very much aware of the status of the literature in your chosen field of study, which in turn, demonstrates the amount of research and effort you have put into your review.

Use sample literature reviews Have a look at sample dissertation literature reviews in your subject area and read them thoroughly to familiarise yourself with existing key debates and themes.

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Cover letter for human resources internship and Procter of The University of Toronto have some useful suggested questions to ask yourself at the beginning of your reading: Cover letter for enclosed signed contract of ways you might structure your literature review are: So, in short, a literature review is essential, and you need to put the necessary time into getting it right.

Findings Beyond the identification of key themes and issues, it will be necessary to reach certain findings in light of your analysis of the relevant literature. You might argue for the relevance of a specific theoretical approach, or combine various theoretical concepts to create a framework for your research.

However, conversely, on the other hand, diverges from, antithetical to, differential from… 6.

  1. This applies especially to people doing PhDs on a part-time basis, where their research might extend over six or more years.

Now that we know what how to structure a literature review dissertation literature review is, the next step is to understand the point of writing one in the first place.

A quick search using keywords on Google Scholar will often give you a quick overview of the available literature. As the example above suggests, a dissertation literature review must be written using a formal and academic style.

Why do I need a literature review?

A critical approach to all reviewed material is the means to ensuring the elimination of mere description and the proper emphasis on original analysis. It's unlikely you will have the time to read every word available on your topic, however in the literature review you should aim to demonstrate wide reading.

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The main structure of a perfect piece of literature review for law and legal studies must be based on following heads: Identifying research gaps does not have to be a difficult endeavour and there are several ways to overcome this difficulty: Furthermore, this should be done using authoritative works written by experts — you'll need to evaluate each relevant book or article you discover to ensure it has been written by an academic.

Categorisation Key themes provide a natural how to structure a literature review dissertation principle in a literature review, as do categories based on relevance to research questions, academic position, theoretical paradigm, chronology, and so on. Increasingly, examiners at post-graduate level are looking for the detail of how you chose which evidence you decided to refer to.

How to write a literature review

Like it or not, a literature review is an essential part of any academic piece of writing, as it demonstrates to your tutor or reader that you have a nuanced understanding of the sources concerning your research area or question. A good literature review will also state the arguments to be made, as well as underlying rationale that underpins these arguments.

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Beierle, ; Renn et al. There are exceptions at post-graduate level or generally — like when you have conducted your own primary creative writing stephen king or published your work widely college admission essay common application which give you the academic authority to boldly make claims.

As you review the references, remember to be a critical reader see Study Guide What is critical reading? Guidance will be available via your own department or school and via the relevant Information Librarian. This has the advantage that, when you come to use that example in your writing up, you can choose: If you are required to record college admission essay common application present your search strategy, you may be able to include the technical details of the search strategy as college admission essay common application appendix to your thesis.


The introduction of a literature review should be clear, short and focused. There is robust literature available concerning the migration patterns of Syrian refugees. Your arguments and interpretation of a research topic must be backed by evidence. In the body of your review, ensure that your arguments are presented clearly and that you link these arguments with the literature.

Make recommendations for future research in this section too, which demonstrates your analytical skills and will score you some extra points. It is an important showcase of your talents of: How did they go about answering a particular research question? They will ask questions such as: You can use it to how to structure a literature review dissertation various theories, models, and definitions of key software engineering personal statement sample. Your interpretation of each piece of evidence is just that: What you include in each depends on the objective of your literature review.

It is often not until you start explaining something in writing that you find where your argument is weak, and you need to collect more evidence. Has anyone else done anything similar?

How to write a literature review | A step-by-step guide

Interpretation You need to be actively involved in interpreting the literature that you are reviewing, and in explaining that interpretation to the reader, rather than just listing what others have written. It is a good idea to decide your strategy on this, rather than drifting into one or the other.

However, this is not straightforward. Rather than simply a list of different writers in the field and their opinions, your literature review should give a clear idea of the whole field as it currently stands, describing different bodies of literature, providing varying standpoints on the important issues, and indicating where general opinions have recently changed or are currently being challenged.

The structure of a literature review

When readers come to your sujet dissertation personnage de roman, dissertation, or thesis, they will not just assume that your research or analysis is a good idea; they will want to how to write the perfect personal statement for a job persuaded that it is relevant and that it was worth doing.

Questions Do not begin analysing the literature before clarifying in your own mind the research questions that will guide your dissertation. What is already known or understood about this topic? 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.

Following Cronon, the racial and class politics of wilderness preservation was a theme taken up by several scholars in the late s and early s, who researched the material effects of conservation politics on indigenous and rural Americans Catton ; Spence ; Jacoby How long should a literature review be? Instead, try to paraphrase quotations and only use direct quotes if it really helps to illustrate your argument.

Despite the rhetoric and the concerns that have been expressed, there have been few attempts to investigate the validity of the many claims that have been made for stake-holder participation Webler, ; Beierle, ; Brody, ; Blackstock et al.