Developing a comprehensive literature review for a dissertation is crucial for establishing the context and rationale for your research. It provides a foundation on which to build your arguments and justifications.
Time needed: 1 day
The literature review also offers an opportunity for you to demonstrate your scholarly proficiency in academic writing, critical analysis, and ability to synthesise complex information. In this blog post, we delve into the steps and best practices for creating a literature review that meets high academic standards.
- Conduct Preliminary Research
Start by conducting a preliminary research to identify key publications in your field. Use academic databases, online libraries, and scholarly journals to collate relevant material.
- Analyse the Sources
Critically review each source, noting its main arguments, methodologies, findings, and limitations. This will provide you with a robust understanding of the existing body of knowledge, enabling you to position your research effectively.
- Categorise the Literature
Classify the literature into themes, theories, methodologies, and outcomes. This categorisation aids in structuring your literature review in a coherent and logical manner.
- Synthesise Information
The next step in academic writing involves synthesising the collated information to identify trends, gaps, or controversies in the existing literature. This will also help you to formulate your research questions or hypotheses.
- Use Proper Citation Styles
Be consistent in your citation style throughout the literature review. Familiarise yourself with citation styles such as Harvard, APA, or Chicago as they are often required in academic writing in the UK.
- Write the Literature Review
Now that you have a structured outline, begin writing the literature review. Make sure to include an introduction, body, and conclusion to provide a complete and organised overview.
- Review and Revise
A crucial aspect of academic writing is the revision process. Make sure to proofread your literature review, checking for grammatical errors, inconsistencies, and proper flow of information.
A well-crafted literature review serves as the backbone for your dissertation, helping you to articulate the relevance and significance of your research. By adhering to the above-mentioned steps, you ensure that your literature review is comprehensive, coherent, and scholarly.
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