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How to Write A Literature Review for Dissertation



Research often involves capitalizing on the previous efforts of other scholars. The literature review section of your paper is where you reconstruct these earlier works and form the groundwork for your research.

In the article, we’ve covered this helpful guide on how you’d ordinarily go about creating a literature review writing in some phases, enabling your successful and easy completion of this section during your publication.

What is a Literature Review?

They’re an examination of academic materials on a particular subject. They usually include a summary of what is known at the moment, enabling you to spot relevant ideas, approaches, and deficiencies in the body of prior work.

In order to provide a comprehensive fair view of the state of understanding on the topic, a good study does more than simply describe the materials; it also reconstructs and systematically assesses them.

Different Types of Literature Reviews

Several formats exist for these reviews. They could appear in a scholarly paper’s Introductory part, for instance. Some sections of Ph.D. dissertations may also have them. At times they also tend to be distinct pages on their own

It’s not uncommon to find standalone review papers often published. Correspondingly, depending on what stage of research work they are, a student could be required to produce scientific research for a course that is also a literature review.

Similarly, a department might demand a review as a supporting block of a more extensive scientific paper (an Honors Theses, for one). You might encounter many different review types in your academic career. Some of them are:

  • Detailed examination as opposed to summarizing previous work

Sometimes earlier studies are merely summarized and presented; In such cases, the author constructs and even re-evaluates analyses conducted prior (to perform a SWOT analysis on them, for instance).

  • Distinctions in Organizational Styles (Chronological, Categorical, etc.)

The earliest research is sometimes reviewed first, then newer work is added to the most recent one at the end. In some instances, research is addressed categorically rather than chronologically (for example, in groups of strongly connected papers). Occasionally, research is defined based on competing viewpoints.

Generally, all reviews have one thing in common: they don’t provide fresh research; instead, they outline an earlier study on a particular issue. This is true regardless of if they are produced as standalone pieces or as parts of bigger works.

What is the Purpose of the Literature Review?

To place your study inside the body of knowledge, you’ll probably need to do one when you choose to write a dissertation, thesis, or research paper. They’d help:

  • Show that you are knowledgeable about the topic and possess the requisite background.
  • Create a conceptual model and a survey design.
  • Consider how your work compares to those of other scholars.
  • Show how your learning advances a discussion.
  • Analyze the research’s present condition and show that you are knowledgeable about your chosen issue’s academic discussions.

If you intend on applying for a master’s degree or plan on being a researcher, being able to write reviews is an ability that you should work on developing.

Tips for Writing a Literature Review

Here are some handy guides to keep in mind while drafting the review part for your paper.

Identify the Specific Topic You Will be Reviewing

The research topic must be determined and specified as precisely as possible. To efficiently look for citations and create a cogent summarization, you must have some idea of the work to be evaluated. Considerations like these and others featured henceforth tend to take a toll on the atypical researcher. Some brain exercises could come in handy to improve focus and memory faculties for you. The said exercises do not have to be complex, though. Boosting your mental productivity starts from observing tasks as simple as checking out your surroundings and allowing your mind to play on salient details.

Find the Relevant Literature and Materials

Browse databases that could include articles applied using various related literature search keywords. You should concentrate on scientific, peer-reviewed literature. Although peer-reviewed research papers are highly regarded, academic writing may also be valuable. Surf among the existing research, choose which research topic you want to work on, and keep in mind to save your key findings and results on the go.

Take Notes and Cite Your Sources

Write things down as you analyze the articles you have found. Whatever may advance your understanding of the subject and assist you in writing the review should be included in your work. You may be considering, should I just pay someone to write my literature review or do the hard work myself? Well, it all boils down to personal preferences. You could choose to hash it out if you want. However, remember that third-party services who’d write on your behalf are typically advanced-level experts. They usually have some years of experience in the subject matter.

However, if you take the plunge, you’d find that certain materials are more useful than some, you might also observe trends or even stark differences across several examples, and some works might even include connections to other publications that you could find interesting. This is frequently the stage that takes the longest time. You can learn a lot about the subject in depth there, though.

Outline your Literature Review’s Structure

You are almost through at this point. To start, it is frequently beneficial to take note of the information you’ve perused. Are there any patterns that catch your eye? All the publications you’ve perused, do they eventually agree? What lingering issues need to be addressed? Examine your documents (rearranging their order can be beneficial). Also, consider how you will interpret the findings ultimately in your review. Are you aiming to analyze or contextualize objectively? Are you planning to employ a chronological organizing scheme or anything else? Making a plan for the organization of your work might also be beneficial.

Write up Your Literature Review

The writing process is the last step. Remember while drafting that they often have a synopsis section where the preceding study is discussed just enough to highlight essential results without going into great depth. However, the focus placed on each research paper may differ in its level of importance.

An early version should be thoroughly reviewed when you’ve finished it, and then it should be edited and revised as necessary. This step may have to be repeated. Take the time to read your original version when you’ve finished, then edit and modify as necessary. This procedure might need to be repeated several times. It might be beneficial to have someone else read your drafts) and offer comments based on pre-specified terms.


The review process is an indispensable part of dissertation writing. Aspiring researchers strongly recommend developing this skill set over their academic careers. Quality research often goes beyond embracing the most efficient methodology; it’s equally about following the proper citation pattern and including references to the works of others you might’ve banked on.

There are some basic things to stick to while drafting a literature review. Not only would these guides protect you from being undeservedly accused of plagiarism, but they’d also come in handy in finishing great work in as little time as possible.

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