The literature review: for dissertations

If you’re faced with writing a dissertation, thesis or any of type of formal academic research, chances are you’ve encountered the term “literature review”. If you’re on this page, you’re probably not 100% what the literature review is all about. Well, the good news is that you’ve come khổng lồ the right place – in this post, we’ll explain:

So, grab a hot cup of coffee (or whichever poison you prefer) và let’s dive sầu in.

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What is a literature review?

The word “literature review” can refer lớn two related things that are part of the broader literature Đánh Giá process. The first is the task of reviewing the literature – i.e. sourcing & reading through the existing retìm kiếm relating to lớn your retìm kiếm topic. The second is the actual chapter that you write up in your dissertation, thesis or retìm kiếm project. Let’s look at each of them:

Reviewing the literature

The first step of any literature Review is khổng lồ hunt down and read through the existing research that’s relevant lớn your retìm kiếm topic. To vì chưng this, you’ll use a combination of tools (we’ll discuss some of these later) lớn find journal articles, books, ebooks, research reports, dissertations, theses & any other credible sources of information that relate to lớn your topic. You’ll then summarise and catalogue these for easy reference when you write up your literature Review chapter. 

The literature review chapter

The second step of the literature Reviews is to lớn write the actual literature nhận xét chapter (this is usually the second chapter in a typical dissertation or thesis structure). At the simplest level, the literature Đánh Giá chapter is an overview of the key literature that’s relevant lớn your research topic. This chapter should provide a smooth-flowing discussion of what research has already been done, what is known, what is unknown và what is contested in relation khổng lồ your research topic. So, you can think of it as an integrated đánh giá of the state of knowledge around your retìm kiếm topic. 

This is quite an oversimplification, but it’s a useful starting point. We’ll discuss the full purpose of the literature Reviews chapter next. 


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How should I structure my literature review?

Unfortunately, there’s no generic universal answer for this one. The structure of your literature Reviews will depover largely on your topic area and your retìm kiếm aims và objectives.

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You could potentially structure your literature reviews chapter according lớn theme, group, variables chronologically or per concepts in your field of research. We explain the main approaches lớn structuring your literature đánh giá here. In general, it’s also a good idea lớn start wide (i.e. the big-picture-level) và then narrow down, ending your literature review cthảm bại lớn your research questions. However, there’s no universal one “right way” lớn structure your literature đánh giá. The most important thing is not khổng lồ discuss your sources one after the other like a danh mục – as we touched on earlier, your literature Review needs khổng lồ synthesise the research, not summarise it.

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Ultimately, you need lớn craft your literature Reviews so that it conveys the most important information effectively – it needs to tell a logical story in a digestible way. It’s no use starting off with highly technical terms and then only explaining what these terms mean later. Always assume your reader is not a subject matter expert and hold their hand through a journey of the literature while keeping the functions of the literature Đánh Giá chapter (which we discussed earlier) front of mind.


Chuyên mục: literature