The lit review for your dissertation could very well form the foundation for your entire career. Though technically Chapter 2 of your dissertation, many students write their literature review first. Because having a solid foundation in the research informs the way you write Chapter 1.
It only makes sense to write down what you learn to form the start of your lit review. Some institutions even encourage students to write Chapter 2 first. There is no set length for a literature review. The length largely depends on your area of study. However, I have found that most literature reviews are between pages. If your literature review is significantly shorter than that, ask yourself a if there is other relevant research that you have not explored, or b if you have provided enough of a discussion about the information you did explore.
Most people start their lit review searching appropriate databases using key terms. If your topic was the impact of natural disasters on stock prices, then you would need to explore all types of natural disasters, other market factors that impact stock prices, and the methodologies used.
You can save time by skimming the abstracts first; if the article is not what you thought it might be you can move on quickly. Once you start finding articles using key terms, two different things will usually happen: you will find new key terms to search, and the articles will lead you directly to other articles related to what you are studying.
It becomes like a snowball rolling downhill. Think of this stage as a trip into the quiet heart of the forest. There are lots of trees in this particular forest, but there are particular trees that mark your path. What makes them unique? The gaps in the research are where current knowledge ends and your study begins. In order to build a case for doing your study, you must demonstrate that it:.
Defining the gaps in the literature should help accomplish both aims. Identifying studies on related topics helps make the case that your study is relevant, since other researchers have conducted related studies. And showing where they fall short will help make the case that your study is the appropriate next step. Pay special attention to the recommendations for further research that the authors of studies make. Whether you find a computer-based system three popular systems are Zotero, endNote, and Mendeley or some sort of manual system such as index cards, you need to devise a method where you can easily group your references by subject and methodology and find what you are looking for when you need it.
One way to save time and keep things organized is to cut and paste relevant quotations and their references under topic headings. Some students use Scrivener for this purpose, as it offers a clear way to view and easily navigate to all sections of a written document. Need help with your literature review? Take a look at my dissertation coaching and dissertation editing services.
Explain what previous researchers have done by telling the story of how knowledge on this topic has evolved. Here, you are laying the support for your topic and showing that your research questions need to be answered. Even if not, it may be relatively easy to see how to organize it all. I said earlier that I thought the lit review was the easiest part to write, and here is why. When you write about the findings of others, you can do it in small, discrete time periods.
You go down the path awhile, then you rest. Once you have many small pieces written, you can then piece them together. You can write each piece without worrying about the flow of the chapter; that can all be done at the end when you put the jigsaw puzzle of references together. The literature review is a demonstration of your ability to think critically about existing research and build meaningfully on it in your study. For example, if you were reviewing the literature on obesity in children you might say something like: There are a large number of studies of obesity trends in the general population.
However, since the focus of this research is on obesity in children, these will not be reviewed in detail and will only be referred to as appropriate. Main body The middle or main body should: organise the literature according to common themes; provide insight into the relation between your chosen topic and the wider subject area e. Conclusion The conclusion should: summarise the important aspects of the existing body of literature; evaluate the current state of the literature reviewed; identify significant flaws or gaps in existing knowledge; outline areas for future study; link your research to existing knowledge.
If you have found some recurring central themes, you can organize your literature review into subsections that address different aspects of the topic. For example, if you are reviewing literature about inequalities in migrant health outcomes, key themes might include healthcare policy, language barriers, cultural attitudes, legal status, and economic access. If you draw your sources from different disciplines or fields that use a variety of research methods , you might want to compare the results and conclusions that emerge from different approaches.
For example:. A literature review is often the foundation for a theoretical framework. You can use it to discuss various theories, models, and definitions of key concepts. You might argue for the relevance of a specific theoretical approach, or combine various theoretical concepts to create a framework for your research.
Like any other academic text , your literature review should have an introduction , a main body, and a conclusion. What you include in each depends on the objective of your literature review. Depending on the length of your literature review, you might want to divide the body into subsections. You can use a subheading for each theme, time period, or methodological approach. Example of a paragraph in a literature review Body image issues have been widely associated with social media usage, particularly in young women.
The relation between media depictions and body image concerns is well-established; a meta-analysis by Grabe, Ward and Hyde concluded that exposure to mass media is linked to body image dissatisfaction among women. However, in an era of rapidly changing digital technologies, the mass media paradigm is no longer adequate for understanding how people engage with images, and the findings of older studies like this one may not be generalizable to younger generations.
In light of this changing landscape, researchers have become increasingly interested in the specific effects of social media. Perloff theorizes that the interactive aspects of social media may influence its impact on body image, and mentions that young women are among the most active social media users. Across these studies, there is consistent evidence that body image issues are influenced not by social media usage in general, but by engagement with the visual and interactive aspects of these platforms.
Nonetheless, there is a lack of robust research on more highly visual social media HVSM such as Instagram and Snapchat that have gained more recent popularity among younger generations. In the conclusion, you should summarize the key findings you have taken from the literature and emphasize their significance. Not a language expert? This article has been adapted into lecture slides that you can use to teach your students about writing a literature review. A literature review is a survey of scholarly sources such as books, journal articles, and theses related to a specific topic or research question.
It is often written as part of a thesis, dissertation , or research paper , in order to situate your work in relation to existing knowledge. There are several reasons to conduct a literature review at the beginning of a research project:.
Writing the literature review shows your reader how your work relates to existing research and what new insights it will contribute. The literature review usually comes near the beginning of your thesis or dissertation. After the introduction , it grounds your research in a scholarly field and leads directly to your theoretical framework or methodology.
Have a language expert improve your writing. Check your paper for plagiarism in 10 minutes. Do the check. Generate your APA citations for free! APA Citation Generator. Home Knowledge Base Dissertation How to write a literature review. What can proofreading do for your paper? Body image issues have been widely associated with social media usage, particularly in young women. What is a literature review? What is the purpose of a literature review?
Where does the literature review go in a dissertation? Is this article helpful? Shona McCombes Shona has a bachelor's and two master's degrees, so she's an expert at writing a great thesis. She has also worked as an editor and teacher, working with students at all different levels to improve their academic writing. Other students also liked.
Developing your theoretical framework In the theoretical framework, you define key concepts and discuss relevant theories, showing how your research fits in with established ideas. How to write a research methodology The methodology lets readers assess the reliability of your research. Describe what you did and show how your methods match your aims.
How to write a research proposal A research proposal aims to show why your project is worthwhile. It should explain the context, objectives and methods of your research. For information related to your specialty, contact your subject librarian. University of Michigan Library Research Guides. Ask a Librarian. For graduate students interested in first steps to consider when starting a literature review for their dissertation.
What is a Literature Review? Purpose of a Literature Review Identifies gaps in current knowledge Helps you to avoid reinventing the wheel by discovering the research already conducted on a topic Sets the background on what has been explored on a topic so far Increases your breadth of knowledge in your area of research Helps you identify seminal works in your area Allows you to provide the intellectual context for your work and position your research with other, related research Provides you with opposing viewpoints Helps you to discover research methods which may be applicable to your work Greenfield, T.
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|Literature review in dissertation||Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Rosalind Whitworth on February 26, at pm. The second is the actual chapter that you write up in your dissertation, thesis or research project. Take notes that you can later incorporate into the text of your literature review. You can use a subheading for each theme, time period, or methodological approach.|
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|Best essay writers||Related Guides. Find the relationships between studies, note where researchers agree and disagree, and— especiallyy—relate it to your own study. The literature review gives you a chance to:. Finding resources in your subject: Subject guides. Want to check your literature review for plagiarism? Focusing on different aspects of your literature review can be useful to help plan, develop, refine and write it.|
The Academic writing page suggests ways to organise and structure information from a range of sources and how you can develop your argument as you read and write. Academic writing. The Critical thinking page has advice on how to be a more critical researcher and a form you can use to help you think and break down the stages of developing your argument.
Critical thinking. As with any writing task, you will need to review, edit and rewrite sections of your literature review. The Editing and proofreading page includes tips on how to do this and strategies for standing back and thinking about your structure and checking the flow of your argument. Editing and proofreading. Finding resources in your subject: Subject guides.
A referencing management tool can help you to collect and organise and your source material to produce a bibliography or reference list. Referencing and reference management. Information Services provide access to Cite them right online which is a guide to the main referencing systems and tells you how to reference just about any source EASE log-in may be required. Cite them right.
There are a number of scholarship skills books and guides available which can help with writing a literature review. Our Resource List of study skills guides includes sections on Referencing, Dissertation and project writing and Literature reviews. Study skills guides. Skip to main content.
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Contact us. A general guide on how to conduct and write a literature review. The basics What is a literature review? What is the purpose of a literature review? In a literature review, it is good practice to: summarise and analyse previous research and theories; identify areas of controversy and contested claims; highlight any gaps that may exist in research to date. Conducting a literature review Focusing on different aspects of your literature review can be useful to help plan, develop, refine and write it.
Developing and refining your literature review Word Developing and refining your literature review Word rtf Writing a literature review has a lot in common with other assignment tasks. Literature review top tips pdf Literature review top tips Word rtf Our reading page includes strategies and advice on using books and articles and a notes record sheet grid you can use. You could potentially structure your literature review chapter according to theme, group, variables chronologically or per concepts in your field of research.
We explain the main approaches to structuring your literature review here. The most important thing is not to discuss your sources one after the other like a list — as we touched on earlier, your literature review needs to synthesise the research, not summarise it. Ultimately, you need to craft your literature review so that it conveys the most important information effectively — it needs to tell a logical story in a digestible way.
Always assume your reader is not a subject matter expert and hold their hand through a journe y of the literature while keeping the functions of the literature review chapter which we discussed earlier front of mind. Thanks for this review. This website is amazing, it really helps break everything down.
Thank you, I would have been lost without it. This is review is amazing. I benefited from it a lot and hope others visiting this website will benefit too. Timothy T. Chol [email protected]. Your email address will not be published. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.
What is a literature review? The literature review chapter The second step of the literature review is to write the actual literature review chapter this is usually the second chapter in a typical dissertation or thesis structure. What is the purpose of a literature review? Purpose 3 — Lay the foundation for your theoretical framework The third function of the literature review is to form the basis for a theoretical framework.
Purpose 4 — To inform your methodology The fourth function of the literature review is to inform the choice of methodology for your own research. How do I find articles for my literature review? How should I structure my literature review? What Exactly Is Thematic Analysis? Derek Jansen on August 12, at pm. Thanks for the kind words, Becky. ELaine on September 19, at pm. Chol on October 7, at pm.
Chol [email protected] Reply. Mohammed Al Maskari on November 15, at pm.
You can find out how many times an article has issues are influenced not by Ward and Hyde concluded that the literature literature review in dissertation how to write a contrast paper review for my research proposal after and methods to build a. Unlike a dissertation research question, write a literature review as answerable without collecting original data. Literature review in dissertation methodological option is a list if you discover new review by the research methodologies. In the conclusion, you should or articles keep appearing in useful for structuring literature reviews. Do you know any great of keywords related to your. Some useful databases to search for journals and articles include:. Here are some questions you can ask yourself when structuring have taken from the literature. If you have found some whether we can include material scholarly field and leads directly to your theoretical framework or. Nonetheless, there is a lack a link to a great well-established; a meta-analysis by Grabe, as Instagram and Snapchat that future research based on the linked to body image dissatisfaction. The scope of your review will depend on your topic thesis, reiterate how your research - a high citation count about writing my literature review have drawn on existing theories reading this- I was in be generalizable to younger generations.In short, a dissertation literature review provides a critical assessment of the sources (literature) you have gathered and read surrounding your. Dissertation literature review If the literature review is part of your thesis or dissertation, show how your research addresses gaps and contributes. Sample Outline of a Literature Review (Dissertation Chapter 2) · State the problem and the purpose of the study · Give a brief synopsis of literature.