How To Craft An Excellent Literature Review For A Dissertation? 6 Steps
An in-depth bibliography review is an essential element of a dissertation. This process may seem simple, and you may think that all you need is to investigate books and make records. Nevertheless, it isn’t true. Crafting a decent bibliography review is demanding and time-consuming. It is the backbone of the future paper as it gives the author more insight into core notions, concepts, and hypotheses.
An excellent literature review will broaden the existing expertise concerning the dissertation hypothesis and questions. In this article, you will find comprehensive pieces of advice on this demanding process. Keep on reading to get more insight into writing an excellent bibliography review.
What Is a Bibliography Review?
In a nutshell, it is the analysis of researches, books, articles, Internet sources, and other literature sources that are related to the investigated subject. Conducting a good bibliographic review is the lion’s share of an excellent dissertation. Very often, writers get confused with this part of the dissertation, as there are misconceptions about this process. Some think that it is a simple summarizing of major sources. They think that the author should include conveying your critical opinion about them. On the other hand, some say that the author’s opinion and interpretation of ideas are unnecessary for this part. However, in most cases, the author should analyze the sources and present his viewpoint. The expectations towards bibliography reviews are usually high, and the writer should present a new perspective on the investigated problem. It is very significant not to include any new contributions in this part.
Why Is a Literature Review Necessary for a Dissertation?
Next, let’s find out why it is so critical. This crucial part shows the audience that the scholar has investigated the understanding and the setting of the subject or area. It helps convince the readers that your piece is appropriate and trustworthy, and reasoning relies on justified and valuable information. It shows that your piece covers a certain gap and facilitates a certain question. It helps form a suitable analytical framework and methodology.
It is an essential part the authors should pay enough attention to. So, find enough time and get ready for thorough work.
When to Write a Dissertation Bibliography Review?
Consider your guidelines. Usually, a review is necessary to include in a theoretical framework or opening. The students may need to dedicate a whole chapter to it. Moreover, it can even be a separate assignment preceding your dissertation. It is one of the initial and vital stages of writing a dissertation. No matter where you need to pace it and how long it should be, the central guidelines and the process itself doesn’t change.
Writing a Dissertation Bibliography Review in 6 Steps
Consider these main stages while writing:
Step 1. Search, Classify and Gather
Before starting looking for papers, the writer should have a clear comprehension of your subject. Unless you are not given references, it is more difficult.
Make a list of keywords connected to your dissertation subject and study literature and other sources where your problem was studied earlier. Here are some places where you can look for them:
- Google Scholar
- Your university’s online library
Pay attention to the sources that appear most often and contain different keywords. Ensure to include not only books but also other sources. Check the bibliographies to find other related sources. Look through the abstracts to discover whether the article is suitable for your reference list. We recommend dividing your sources into several groups based on the aspect they cover. Add more sources than necessary as some of them may appear unrelated to your dissertation or simply not credible.
Step 2. Read and Analyze Your Sources
After you arrange your list, it’s time to analyze them thoroughly. Here is a checklist of questions you should ask yourself while reading each source.
- What subject does the writer investigate?
- What are the central notions, and how does the author define them?
- What approach does the author follow? What are his opinions and methodology?
- What are the outcomes of the investigation?
- How is this source connected to the other ones?
- Does this source alter, prove, or add to current awareness on the matter?
- What are the benefits and disadvantages of this research?
Ensure you get acquainted with all the core studies in your area of study and all the chosen sources are trustworthy, and don’t repeat the ideas of others. It is also useful for you to determine how the perception of your subject evolved over time.
You should start writing at this stage. Make notes and different citations from various sources, and it will save you lots of time later. Such an organization gives you a brief overview of each source, so you don’t forget anything. Ensure the sources don’t plagiarize each other and avoid those that contain plagiarism or don’t present any new valuable ideas. Modern sources are more suitable for research in the sciences, while historical sources are necessary for humanities.
Step 3. Single Out the Key Topics, Gaps, and Debates
To define the arrangement of your literature review, you need to find the links between various sources. According to your notes and analysis, consider the following things:
- What approaches become more or less widely used over time?
- What are the most frequently discussed concepts and questions in literature?
- What are controversial points where different sources disagree?
- What studies changed the further scientific investigation of this field?
- What are things missing in the literature?
- What are the weaknesses of most sources?
Answering these questions will help you discover a suitable structure and define how your piece will contribute to actual information. Pay much attention to the last two questions and identify the gaps. The more gaps you find, the more expert and thorough your analysis will appear. This shows that the author can analyze the sources critically and improve the overall readers’ opinion.
Step 4. Choose the Right Structure
There is no universal structure for a dissertation, and the writer should choose between several approaches. It is also possible to combine a few approaches if the review is long. The suitable approach on the investigated topic, discipline, length, and other criteria. Here are the strategies to plan it.
You can consider different notions, theories and determine the fundamental ideas. It is a basis for a theoretical framework.
If your matter correlates to different disciplines and you want to analyze the consequences and outcomes of numerous approaches, this is the right way. You can compare qualitative and qualitative, empirical and theoretical studies. Alternatively, you can divide the academic sources according to the disciplines.
This approach is suitable if you singled out that some themes and patterns repeat themselves in numerous sources. You will need to discuss them more thoroughly in different sections of your review.
This is the most uncomplicated approach that analyzes how the subject evolved over time. Discuss what studies have formed the perception and study this topic. If you use only this approach, you will save time but won’t receive as valuable outcomes as in the previous strategies.
Step 5. Write Your Review
Now that you are all prepared, it’s time to write. Same as any paper, it has an opening, central part, and conclusion. Let’s look at how to write each part in detail.
This part should be brief, focus, and clearly present the aim and the main aspects to be discussed in the review.
According to the length, you should divide your main body into several sections. You can also add subheadings for every section. Consider these pieces of advice to create an excellent body for your review.
- Sum up and combine. Single out the key outcomes from every investigated source and organize them into one piece, but ensure they are coherent and connected with each other logically.
- Evaluate and explain. Don’t simply rephrase the others; include your own opinion, and provide the value of every source.
- Be critical. Specify the pluses and minuses of your sources.
- Pay attention to the structure. Utilize transition phrases and logical, topic, and concluding sentences, establish logical connections and cause-effect relations.
Abstract the core conclusions and evaluate how suitable and important they are for your dissertation purposes.
Step 6. Proofread
The last but crucial step is to proofread your review before submitting it. Ensure you created a well-organized structure and logical flow of thoughts.
7 Tips to Write an Excellent Dissertation Literature Review
We prepared some universal tips to speed up the process and improve the quality of your review.
- Don’t use too many direct quotes.
- Include your own opinion; don’t simply describe what other authors think.
- Be very picky and review only the most important sources in detail.
- Back up your thoughts with plenty of different evidence.
- Structure your body according to many approaches.
- Express your own opinion.
- Use the proper referencing style.
To Sum Up
We hope this comprehensive article helped you write an excellent review for your dissertation. We prepared the most effective tips and guidelines. If you still feel it is not enough for you and you might need more help, 5homework his there for you.
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