Hints on Writing the Literature Review for a Dissertation


When writing a dissertation thesis you are sure to perform a critical overview of literature sources on the topic of your scientific research. Though it is not a difficult task to do, for many people it is rather a problem.

Follow these 7 tips and you will write a perfect literature review for your dissertation:

  1. Make clear if you know what you are going to write about. Define the object and subject of your research, make the list of main objectives and perspectives that will make a dissertation plan. This step will save you a lot of time and efforts as you will know what sources to analyze instead of reading everything you have found.
  2. Get the ability to find relevant material that has scientific novelty. To do this you should use not only printable recourses but also online ones. Surf the net to find material you need, read critical reviews of other people, visit online libraries to get an advice, get access to scientific data bases.
  3. Remember that a literature overview is not just a chronological description of works of other people whose works you have read. It must be written in a scientific style where you analyze each source pointing out how the problem of your dissertation thesis was investigated by different researches or scientists. On this basis you note what aspects of the problem were left aside and in this way the scientific novelty of your dissertation is proved.
  4. Use a critical approach to the analysis of what you are writing. It’s not a story or a literary essay but a critical review which is drawn through your own perception and interpretation.
  5. Avoid colloquial and personal language styles. Your writing must be clear and coherent. Don’t use the language of emotions. You should be always objective and respect other people opinions. Use categorization to present your findings.
  6. Make use of works performed by modern scientists. All material you use must be valid.
  7. Present conclusion based on your analysis when you have identified the key themes and issues. You must state which approach is more appropriate and which is less, which of them dominates now and why, what ideas and scientific approaches you support. Your literature overview together with the research problem should lead to empirical questions formulation. In fact, you should explain with the help of your literature overview, how your research makes a contribution to a given field of scientific knowledge.