Crucial guidelines for writing a dissertation literature review

The purpose of a literature review is to demonstrate that you have researched the topic that you have chosen to study as well as to give the reader more insight into your area of study. It is a very detailed chapter and there are several guidelines that you will need to follow. It is advised that you study a dissertation literature review example, this will give you a better idea of the standard that is expected of you in this chapter. Here are some guidelines for writing a dissertation literature review sample.

  • Compare your conclusions to previous work written on your topic.
  • Discuss the main issues with your subject.
  • Look for new ways to interpret previous literature.
  • Provide resolutions to conflicts between theoretical concepts.
  • Discuss which literature has made a noteworthy contribution to the understanding of your subject.
  • Suggest further research to be conducted in your topic.

Literature review structure

There is a definite structure to a literature review and you should ensure that you follow it. There must be a logical flow of ideas from point to point. Make sure that references and sources are relevant and current and that they have been appropriately cited according to your discipline. Present viewpoints and terminology on your subject in a way that is comprehensive and unbiased.
Your literature review must include the following content:

  • An overview of the topic, theory or issue that you are researching.
  • Arrange outside works into concepts and categories to support or refute a particular position.
  • Make a connection between your work and the literature you are reviewing.

You should think about the following points when choosing what work to include in your literature review.

  • Credibility:Why is the author convincing?
  • Qualifications: How does the author qualify to make the suppositions they have made?
  • Neutrality? What perspective does the author hold, is it biased or even-handed?
  • Worth: How do the conclusions of the author add to the value of your work?

You will not only need to interpret and summarize previous literature but you will also need to synthesize and analyse the perspectives of the authors.
You will also need to discuss your opinion on the literature that you review. Do you support it or are you against it?
You will need to use reporting verbs to accurately describe what you are trying to present. Supporting verbs are used to indicate the following:

  • Favorable assessment (advocate, hold, argue, see)
  • Neutral assessment (cite, address, look at, comment)
  • Tentative assessment (Suggest, hypothesize, believe, allude to)
  • Critical assessment (object, condemn, attack, refute)

The way your evidence is presented in the literature review should demonstrate that you are:

  • Quoting and selecting the most relevant information for your argument and subject.
  • Focused on how the quotation language is interpreted.