Composing a literature review
The following is a few guidelines on how to write a good literature review for your dissertation writing.
- Before you begin to write your literature review, question yourself why is this literature review a very important part of your dissertation writing, what is it that it makes it so special
- Remember that your dissertation is the most important assignment of your entire academic career, whether it is at your undergraduate level or at graduate level.
When it comes to your dissertation writing, each segment needs care and attention, since each is written differently. You cannot afford to be lazy and careless.
The basic things to remember about your literature review are:
- A literature review is much more than just a general review.
- The term in this context does not just denote a review of a poem or a novel; it is not just a critical appreciation of the work that belongs to the field of literature.
- It is an account of what has been already researched and published on the particular topic, hence a basis for further discussion.
For instance, if you have chosen to discuss Jane Austen's Emma, with special study on human fondness of match making as exemplified in it, then you will have to find materials already available on that particular topic and refer those already researched materials on your review and thesis statement as well.
The above is an example from the field of literature; you will have to write your literature review on the field you choose.
- It can be a review of literature based on any fields or subjects and can concern itself with any issues, political, geography, science and technology, inventions, medical sciences, etc.
- It is not a summary or list of materials already published on the topic, but an evaluation based on the guiding concept of your thesis or research question. However, you have to refrain yourself from giving your opinions on it.
Depending on your field and your research topic you will need to gather materials on your research topic from all available sources for your points of discussions and support for your arguments. Given the complexity involved in writing such a detailed summary and evaluation for your literature review, it would be worth seeing a good example of literature review to know the underlying components that forms the basis of it and the standards that is expected from it. For your dissertation writing you can choose your research question from any fields or subject, your literature review will be based on the same field. That is if your dissertation writing is on medical science then your literature review also has to be on the same. You can look for good samples in library that has great resources, or ask for it from your professors who likes helping students and of course on the net.
Finally, remember that you are not allowed to copy or borrow any ideas from the literature review sample. Plagiarism is not allowed and is considered not less than an offence.