How to write a literature review as part of a dissertation

In addition to choosing the source, you should also decide on the inclusion and exclusion criteria i. You have to be analytical about the theories and concepts you are discussing. Structure As with any piece of extended writing, structure is crucial. You have gathered all the data and have finalized your sources, you are all ready to start writing the literature review of a dissertation.

How to Write a Literature Review - Part 2 - Am I Done?

It is also important to see the writing stage as part of the research process, not something that happens after you have finished reading the literature.

An electronic search may throw up a huge number of hits, but there are still likely to be other relevant articles that it has not detected. A literature review is not series of annotations like an annotated bibliography. Redefine your topic if needed: If you do include tables as part of your review each must be accompanied by an analysis that summarizes, interprets and synthesizes the literature that you have charted in the table.

With longer projects such as a dissertation for a Masters degree, and certainly with a PhD, the literature review process will be more extended.

They may already have copies of articles that you can work with. This means that by reading the first line, readers should get an idea as to what this paragraph will talk about.

Import your references into your RefWorks account see: 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.

This will help you in preparing a draft of the literature review and listing the concepts that should be explained.

These theories should be related to the topic in a manner which will help the readers understand why they were chosen and how they will contribute to your research. Point out overall trends in what has been published about the topic; or conflicts in theory, methodology, evidence, and conclusions; or gaps in research and scholarship; or a single problem or new perspective of immediate interest.

Typically a review will cover the last five years, but should also refer to any landmark studies prior to this time if they have significance in shaping the direction of the field. Rudestam and Newton What is the specific thesis, problem, or research question that my literature review helps to define?

Your department will have its own guidance. Group the articles into categories e. Increasingly, examiners at post-graduate level are looking for the detail of how you chose which evidence you decided to refer to. Having a lot of literature to report on can feel overwhelming.

It is a good idea to decide your strategy on this, rather than drifting into one or the other.

Doing a literature review

The ability to review, and to report on relevant literature is a key academic skill. The focus of the Study Guide is the literature review within a dissertation or a thesis, but many of the ideas are transferable to other kinds of writing, such as an extended essay, or a report.

When readers come to your assignment, dissertation, or thesis, they will not just assume that your research or analysis is a good idea; they will want to be persuaded that it is relevant and that it was worth doing.

Learn how to write a review of literature.

If you copy the exact words from an article, be sure to cite the page number as you will need this should you decide to use the quote when you write your review as direct quotes must always be accompanied by page references. It can happen accidentally, for example, if you are careless in your note-taking.

The term now encompasses a wide range of web-based sources, in addition to the more traditional books and print journals. A narrative thread Although you clearly need to write in an academic style, it can be helpful to imagine that you are telling a story.

For instance, you can choose that researches, studies and other resources from and onwards for your study, and all researches prior to this year will be excluded.

If you are required to record and present your search strategy, you may be able to include the technical details of the search strategy as an appendix to your thesis. You need to demonstrate to your reader that you are examining your sources with a critical approach, and not just believing them automatically.

What is critical writing? A critical review It is important that your literature review is more than just a list of references with a short description of each one. How you end the review, however, will depend on your reason for writing it. Evaluate the current "state of the art" for the body of knowledge reviewed, pointing out major methodological flaws or gaps in research, inconsistencies in theory and findings, and areas or issues pertinent to future study.

A skill that helps in curtailing the reading is: Refworks Import Directions for guide on how to do this from different databases. Wherever possible, use original source material rather than summaries or reviews by others.

Keeping a record Keeping a record of your search strategy is useful, to prevent you duplicating effort by doing the same search twice, or missing out a significant and relevant sector of literature because you think you have already done that search.

EndNote and RefWorks are software packages that you can use to collect and store details of your references, and your comments on them.How to Write a Dissertation Literature Review Now comes the tough part. You have gathered all the data and have finalized your sources, you are all ready to start writing the literature review of a dissertation.

Here, I discuss How to Write a Literature Review. This video training focuses on how to write a dissertation.

Guidelines for writing a literature review

More specifically: How do I write a literature review fast? How to write your PhD thesis, Part 1: The fundamentals of academic writing. 5th/6th September 41 thoughts on “ How to write a PhD literature review ” Clara Tang. February 15, at am I am a first year PhD student in criminology at my proposal writing stage.

I am of the view my literature review at this stage is just to. Download the Dissertation Journey ebook to understand the challenges dissertation writers face and strategies for overcoming them.

Writing a Literature Review. As an academic writer, you are expected to provide an analytical overview of the significant literature published on your topic. If your audience knows less than you do on the topic. Doing a literature review Study guide The focus of the Study Guide is the literature review within a dissertation or a thesis, but many of the ideas are transferable to other kinds of writing, such as an extended essay, or a report.

suggest ‘Writing while you collect and collecting while you write.’ Once you are part way through. A literature review surveys scholarly articles, books, dissertations, conference proceedings and other resources which are relevant to a particular issue, area of research, or theory and provides context for a dissertation by identifying past research.

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How to write a literature review as part of a dissertation
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