The literature review is not just another chapter in a dissertation; it’s the part of the paper that gives validity and purpose to the topic of one’s dissertation. The main objective of the literature review is to present the relevant studies and current knowledge about the topic. It should also examine the strengths and weakness of the studies and not merely present a list of literature but an analysis of their implications to the topic.
Here are tips to remember when writing a literature review.
- Organize the literatures into categories – the literature review should be divided into sections that are relevant to the issues, theories and concepts that bring structure to the dissertation. Literature should not be merely listed or summarized under each related concept. The studies have to be analyzed in the context of what is known about the topic, current research as well as the significance of such ideas when applied. It is best to introduce each section with a paragraph to guide the reader on the focus of the section.
- Present a general idea of the extent of current knowledge about the topic and what areas of the field need more research – the literature review should be written in a way that it broadens the reader’s idea of the topic. It should in effect give an overview of what is already known about the subject of study and the extent of research that needs to be done. The literature should be effective in showing the gaps of knowledge that needs more attention to justify further investigation on the specific topic.
- State important controversies in the existing literature – a well-written review of the literature should be objective and never biased. Present controversies in the literature and present both sides of the argument and make a critical evaluation of the strengths and weakness of the literature involved.
The researcher must remember that a good literature review is also in the choice of literature used and the extensive search for valid and relevant studies for the chapter. Writing a literature review for a dissertation requires organized and structured ideas as well critical thinking. Ask professional thesis and dissertation writers to help you with dissertation literature review!