Tips in writing review of related literature

Use an overall introduction and conclusion to state the scope of your coverage and to formulate the question, problem, or concept your chosen material illuminates. It is possible that your search strategies are either entirely incorrect or simply insufficient.

Literature review structure

Thematic analysis will not only demonstrate a genuine engagement with the literature, but provide you with a scaffold on which to build the body of your text. Moreover, if you find that the literature available is too sparse, or conversely, insurmountable; it is worth reconsidering your research questions to develop a more constrained focus on the topic at hand. Make an outline for your review at the very beginning. Similarly, you could also return the favor by sharing articles when other researchers are in need. You will need to experiment with different searches, such as limiting your search to descriptors that appear only in the document titles, or in both the document title and in the abstract. Does it confirm, add to, or challenge established knowledge? Has later response in the literature provided damning critique of the work in question, or considerable support? I must admit that I was nervous when I hit the send button. But writing a literature review was, to put it mildly, boring and overwhelming at the same time. Pivotal publications: are there any influential theories or studies that changed the direction of the field? To really polish your review, make sure you have a fresh pair of eyes or a few to look it over during the writing and revising process. The mere fact of having a system can make the literature review seem much less daunting, so I recommend this system for anyone who feels overwhelmed by the prospect of writing a literature review. Five pieces of advice here: keep track of the search items you use so that your search can be replicated [10] , keep a list of papers whose pdfs you cannot access immediately so as to retrieve them later with alternative strategies , use a paper management system e.

Calls for follow-up studies relevant to your project 4. Examining every side of your story will strengthen your literature review and give you more confidence as you move forward with your thesis.

how to write literature review for thesis

Discussion of both the distinctiveness of each source and its similarities with the others. If you include studies prior to the past five years that are not landmark studies, you should defend why you have chosen these rather than more current ones. A thorough literature review will show the journal editor and referees that you have done your research and are aware of existing research in your field.

literature review outline

Have I cited and discussed studies contrary to my perspective? You may be able to write a paragraph or so to introduce the focus of each section. Use subheadings, especially in long reviews Use transitions to help trace your argument If your topic teaches across disciplines, consider reviewing studies from each discipline separately Write a conclusion for the end of the review: Provide closure so that the path of the argument ends with a conclusion of some kind.

phd literature review outline

Instead, a great literature review includes a clear, well-defined scope, and offers some insight into the works it draws from.

Explicitly articulate the rationale behind the theoretical aspect to your own findings and the position you have reached by the end of the literature review.

Sample literature review for research paper

When starting from scratch, reviewing the literature can require a titanic amount of work. Redefine your topic if needed: as you search you will quickly find out if the topic that you are reviewing is too broad. What is it? If you find a colleague with different skills and strengths than you have, your work styles can complement each other, and help you both nail your reviews. If there are already a few or several reviews of the literature on your issue, my advice is not to give up, but to carry on with your own literature review,. First, I felt like I was drowning in information. It should not take more than two or three dedicated sessions.

What is it? Make an outline for your review at the very beginning.

Literature review template

Remember — a good literature review not only provides important background to your own dissertation writing , but also helps to show where your dissertation will fit into the field. Identify gaps in the literature, and reflect on why these might exist based on the understandings that you have gained by reading literature in this field of study. Instead of just listing and summarizing items, do I assess them, discussing strengths and weaknesses? Given such mountains of papers, scientists cannot be expected to examine in detail every single new paper relevant to their interests [3]. I had written literature reviews for my courses before, but I was never proud of them. It is always hard to figure out how much you need to read for deep meaning, and how much you just need to know what others have said. Claims, conclusions, and findings about the constructs you are investigating 2. Sources covered in the review may include scholarly journal articles, books, government reports, Web sites, etc. What you include in each depends on the objective of your literature review. Write your paper the same way: start with the structure, add content, and perfect your form and style at the end. These tips should help you get a head-start on that pending literature review: 1.

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How to write a literature review