Excelling in Writing a Literature Review for a Dissertation


Literature review is done by looking for information on the research topic by scanning and analyzing the relevant literature resources on the topic. It is done by surveying scholarly articles, books and other sources like dissertations and conference proceedings etc, which are based on the research topic, area of research, theory on research problem, summary and critical evaluation on previous research conducted on the research concept.

The Development of literature review requires collecting relevant information on a topic:

  • Formulation of a problem to be examined with concern to component issues of the topic. The literature review must carry the information on the significance and background information on the research topic that is required to be evaluated and examined through the conduction of the research. It should state why you chose the problem for research and what knowledge you have acquired through studying the secondary research data available for the research problem.

  • Search of literature for finding materials, which support research on a particular subject/ topic to be explored. It must employ a wide analysis on the multitude of resources available in journals, previous research resources, magazines, newspaper sources, internet resources like archives, blogs, articles and websites for the collection of information.

  • Data evaluation based on the collected literature to make a significant contribution to understand the topic. This must be descriptive of the unbiased approach used to form a genuine opinion on the basis of the research of the secondary data or the review of literature. It must be presented in the same light as has been developed by the author of the work cited in the section.

  • Analyze and interpret subject through discussion on findings and forming conclusions of relevant literature. It must open the floor for discussing the relevant claims and counter claims of the previous research done on the topic without diluting the main research aim/ goal for the research.

Literature review must consist of the following elements:

  • Overview of subject, issue or theory along with objectives
  • Dividing the literature review into categories ( By providing support, or forming basis to oppose or consider different alternatives to thesis solutions based on the literature review).
  • Differentiate each work and also identify similar patterns in the pertinent literature review for topic.
  • To consider the best arguments, convincing opinions and facilitate greater understanding and development of research topic by concluding the review of literature in a logical manner.

Following things must be considered for providing quality review on literature:

  • Attach a suitable literature review of works in context of the research problem.
  • Relate each work cited in review of literature by cross examination.
  • Provide fresh interpretations on the literature review.
  • Resolve conflicts in contradicting research results in previous work done.
  • Avoid duplication of effort.
  • Cite scope for further research.
  • Maintain originality in presenting the review of literature.

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