Dissertation Literature Review Format: Synthesis and Analysis

Writing a literature review is an indispensible element of any academic work larger than an essay for a couple of pages. The main principle of writing the dissertation literature review is thus to involve the reader in the body of research dedicated to the dissertation topic. The main task of the writer of a literature review in a dissertation is to provide the sufficient basis for further ideas and conclusions aimed at being produced in the dissertation. The majority of supervisors mentoring the dissertation writing process emphasize the fact that the review should be devoid of any personal opinion or judgment. However, it is mostly hard for the writer to compose a piece of literary analysis without underlying the significance of those findings for the larger context of the academic work. Hence, the present article will teach students the balance in the literature review in a dissertation.

Dissertation Literature Review Format Fundamentals

  • The beginning of the literature review should make the reader focus on the problem being dwelt on; here one can use the contrast scheme, for example, stating “despite the common opinion about…, there is current evidence of…” and transfer to the description of the subject
  • It is always necessary for the writer of the dissertation literature review to start the new idea with citations from relevant academic readings – only this way one can justify the choice of the arguments
  • At the end of literary review on each separate category, the writer has to make a clear statement about the significance of this information for the overall body of research. Here you can use such phrases as “as it follows from the literary research…”, “from the information analyzed above, one can infer that…”, or “the present data surely possess significant value for the present research, since they indicate that…”
  • Finally, it is vital to identify the research gap in a dissertation literature review. The writer’s job in the literature review should not be evaluative, which is obvious in terms of the literature review purposes. However, there is a place for evaluation and a personal opinion in the part about the value of research findings, their comprehensiveness, and the facts they lack to ensure the complete understanding of the research topic.

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