dissertation lit review
dissertation lit review
You’ll soon realise that organising the body of your literature review is an iterative process and you’ll more often than not, use all of these approaches in your write-up. The body of your research may also include additional sections that do not necessarily form a part of its organisational structure. For instance, you might want to include a ‘context section’ that provides some insight on any background detail required for understanding the focus of the literature review. It may also focus on historical considerations. You could include a short methodology section that details the approach you used in selecting and analysing your sources.
As you’re identifying your sources, ensure you a keep a list as it’s very easy to lose focus given the wide scope of the Internet. Reference tools such as Mendeley allow you to store your sources online and via a desktop app, and are a great way to keep your bibliography organised. The citation tools attached to these programmes will also allow you to simply export citations in a format of your choice when required later. They will save you countless hours trying to figure out how to use Harvard or APA referencing correctly.
A literature review is a critical review of literature relevant to your project. Merriam (1988:6) describes the literature review as:
Taylor, D. (n.d.) The literature review: a few tips on conducting it. Available at: https://advice.writing.utoronto.ca/types-of-writing/literature-review/ (Accessed 27 April 2020).
A common mistake in writing a literature review is to get bogged down in flat descriptions of the content of the many books, journals articles and reports that you have been reading. Relate only the directly relevant content, and spend as much time analysing the comparative significance of various sources for your own purposes.
Nothing must make it into your literature review which has not been scrutinised, questioned and dissected. A critical approach to all reviewed material is the means to ensuring the elimination of mere description and the proper emphasis on original analysis. Challenge assumptions, generate arguments and give reasons for your reactions.
Once you have an overview of the literature, you are ready to begin writing. In this section, we shall look at the position of the literature review, how it should be structured, and the style you should use to write it.
Always make sure you relate your discussion to your own piece of research, and in particular to your own research question, which may well have come about through a gap you have identified in the research.
Conducting a literature review involves collecting, evaluating and analyzing publications (such as books and journal articles) that relate to your research question. There are five main steps in the process of writing a literature review:
Date published February 22, 2019 by Shona McCombes. Date updated: June 4, 2020