Study Guidelines on How to Write a Literature Review for a Dissertation


What is a Literature Review?


A Literature Review is a secondary data source on which research is conducted through careful analysis and thorough understanding of the published literature by renowned scholars and famous authors. A good literature review should be:

  1. Relevant and classified
  2. Comparable and organized
  3. Properly referenced and traceable

How to write Literature review?


  1. Break down your thesis statement into parts and use any popular search engine to find out random information about the main themes and words.
  2. Conduct a 5 Why analysis to arrive at the root cause or idea. For example, why you’re searching a particular disease, why does it exist, how is it diagnosed, what are the effective remedies to cure it, how to prevent. Keep asking questions until you can’t ask them anymore. This will provide you a path along which you can conduct your secondary research.
  3. Once you have a clear idea about what you’re working on, it’s about time you start finding some authentic literature to build up your case. Use websites that offer scholarly articles and books. You can cite any piece of literary work which can be referenced. It can be a book, a journal article, a video, a blog, a newspaper or a magazine etc.
  4. Some articles can be downloaded; others need to be read online. In either case collect articles with relevant topics and headings. You don’t have to read them just yet.
  5. Now it is physically impossible to read each and every article inside out so you need to learn how to skim through. Take notes about key facts and stats and any other valuable information relevant to your study. Analyze the information you’ve gathered and organize it in way that makes most sense. Your literature should be both current and historical as this will enhance the credibility and scope of your research.
  6. Now start writing your review in an essay form. Highlight prominent figures and italicize quotations if any. Compare and contrast your findings with the published information in order to critically analyze.
  7. Be sure to make paragraphs and add in text citation if you’ve using the Harvard Style formatting. Be sure to add a detailed bibliography of your sources at the end.
  8. Proofread your review before submission.

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