Writing A Literature Review For Your Dissertation


The main idea behind writing a literature review is to show your reader that you have read and have a good understanding of the different books and sources of information. You could include the literature review either as a part of the dissertation and also in the synopsis or research proposal. It is important to remember that your literature review is not just a listing of what you have read, but summaries of each of the sources you have referred to.

The structure of the review

The overall structure of your literature review will depend on the research area of your dissertation. What you would need to do is to compare the different writers and their writings on certain topics. What you must not do is to describe what one writer has written and then go on to describe another writer separately. The structure of your literature review should be dictated instead by the various questions to which there are different approaches. It is also important to remember to use linking words such as however, in addition, similarly, etc. while writing your literature review.

Writing the review

You would first need to decide what you must read. In certain cases, your professor would give you a reading list of the books that you have to go through. In case of a thesis or a dissertation, it will be up to you to decide what to read and what not to read. Furthermore, you would need to add a clear line of argument to your literature review. You would, therefore, need to include critical comments and notes along with your literature review. You would also need to include a line on the possible outcomes of your dissertation along with evidence pointing to the links between the variegated materials that you have referred to. 

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