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How to write review of literature in dissertation

Literature review is the essential for every kind of dissertation. This is the part where you carry out research on the subject and give a background about what has already been written about the subject. Students need to stay unbiased and critical while writing a literature review. It can be very tough for those who have never written something like this before. Even those students who have an experience with writing literature review can be stuck if the subject is difficult and there is not much data available on it

How to write a literature review

  • Know your topic
  • It is very necessary that you are familiar with your topic and subject. If you choose a topic you have no knowledge of it will be impossible to review it. You can only criticize something when you are already excellent at it and can identify the lacks

  • Carry out research
  • The next thing you should do is do some research. Well, actually a lot of research. This way you will know how much material has been written on the topic already and what different approaches to it were.

  • Analyze existing material
  • When you have the existing material with you, the next step is to analyze it. Read the existing articles and research papers carefully. In the first step, go through the paper, skim through the headings and bullet points and quotes. In the next step carefully read the whole document. In the last step you will see the flow of the paper, the transition between paragraphs and look for repetition etc

  • Highlight the strengths
  • Remember to keep a pen with you while reading the document. If you are doing it on your computer, then change the format or highlight the areas with a different color. Students usually look for shortcomings in a paper. You need to identify both strengths and weaknesses

  • Identify the weaknesses
  • Take a different color pen in your hand while looking for mistakes or shortcomings. Ideally, you can use red for shortcomings and green for strengths. Tell how the author has failed to do something. Show all the areas that you think are lacking something. While identifying weaknesses you have to

    • Identify the gaps
    • Tell how it could have been better
  • Proof read your paper
  • Finally, when you are done make sure to proof read your paper for grammar and spelling mistakes