In a dissertation, the literature review illustrates what the literature already says on your research subject, providing summary, synthesis and critical analysis of such literature. It is generally structured by topic, starting from general background and concepts, and then addressing what can be found - and cannot be found - on the specific focus of your dissertation. Indeed, the literature review should identify gaps in the literature, that your research aims to fill. In order to know what literature you need to research, you need to know what question you need to answer! The literature review is the first attempt to answer the research question. It provides background on what is known about the subject, but also exhibits a gap, which your research should fill.
Literature Review Examples
The Literature Review | A Complete Step-by-Step Guide
An important part of a literature review is being able to pull together and group what you have read in order to identify the key arguments in the previous research. This is a good foundation, but then you need to go further and analyse what others have researched. You need to offer judgements on whether the evidence shows their arguments to be convincing or less convincing and why. This analytical groundwork means you will be able to refer back to this literature economically to provide potential reasons for your own research findings: Do your results agree with, or disagree with, what others have found, and why might this be?
How to do thematic analysis
Learning Skills:. Writing Your Dissertation or Thesis eBook. Subscribe to our FREE newsletter and start improving your life in just 5 minutes a day. A literature review demonstrates that you have read around your topic and have a broad understanding of previous research, including its limitations.
This is not, however, a hard and fast rule. If a single comment made by one participant is particularly helpful in elucidating their account, you may want to devise a theme that encapsulates it and include it in your template. Rather, they arise from the engagement of a particular researcher with the text, as he or she attempts to address a particular research question.