• Basic Characteristics Of A Good Dissertation Literature Review


    This is an essential component of your dissertation paper. The literature review can strike fear into the heart of any student but in reality, if you know exactly what’s expected and follow a guideline, you can put your review together quicker and more easily than you thought.

    Purpose of the Literature Review

    • It’s a way to place your original work in the context of existing work

    • Helps you to interpret the key issues that are connected to your topic

    • Describes any relationship that exists between the work you are doing and the work done by others

    • Determines what contribution you will be making to the existing literature

    • Points the way for others to do further research in this topic area

    Content of the Literature Review

    • A good flow of logic from one point to the next point

    • Current and relevant references

    • Properly done citations

    • An overview of the topic you are covering

    • Sources divided into categories or concepts

    • Make connections between previous work and your work

    • Make conclusions about how each work has made a contribution to the field

    How to assess the validity or relevance of each piece of work

    • What qualifications or credentials did the author possess?

    • Is the perspective biased or fair?

    • Was the author’s thesis convincing? Why or why not?

    • Do the conclusions made by the author add to the value of your project?

    Where to begin constructing your literature review

    • Search for the broad issues. This is mostly for an introduction or background

    • Narrow your focus to those studies or pieces of work that overlap with your research

    • Focus in on previous work directly related to yours.

    • The works that are more directly relevant to yours are the ones you should spend the most time studying and exploring and writing about

    Remember to select and quote only the material that’s most relevant for your argument or your subject. The quotations you use should make sense within the context of your written work. Your ideas and the theories you are going to explore within your dissertation should be the focus and center of your written work; however you must demonstrate its relevance and how it fits in with work already done. That’s the reason for the literature review in the first place. Most academic sources can be found best by searching academic databases. These are often subscribed to by your University and can be accessed online on campus.

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