How to Write the Literature Review Chapter of a Dissertation or Thesis
When writing a dissertation or thesis, you will need to conduct a phenomenal amount of data collection. This research may include using online and offline sources in order to gather information, though you may also be called upon to conduct research or experiments on your own in order to obtain original data in support of your thesis or reference project.
Depending upon the requirements of your dissertation or thesis, you might also be called upon to writer a literary report chapter. It is important to note that a literary report is not the same as a book review. Whereas a book review is written to provide the reader with information about the story of the book as well as a brief opinion on the work, a literary report delves far deeper into the book being reviewed.
With a literature review, your goal is to dissect the piece and to determine its relevancy and its impact on the field. As such, you will only provide a brief summary of what the book was about while the majority of your literature review chapter will focus more on the impact the work has on the field of study and whether or not it made a meaningful contribution to the field.
In order to write the literature review chapter component of your dissertation or thesis, you will need to complete for basic stages. The first stage is the problem formulation stage. During this stage, you will determine which topic of field you will be examining. The next stage is the literature search. At this time, you will look for materials that are relevant to the topic you are exploring. The next stage is data evaluation, at which time you work to determine what literature makes the biggest contribution to the topic. Finally, you will analyze and interpret your findings as well as the conclusions you can draw from the literature you are reviewing.
There are a number of key elements that should be included in the actual review of the literature. For example, you should provide an overview of the subject as well as the theory or issue you are writing about. This area should already be thoroughly covered in your dissertation and should connect smoothly to the literature review component.
You will also need to divide the works you are reviewing into different categories. For example, you might divide the works according to which ones are in support of a certain position as opposed to those who are against it. After categorizing the works, you will still need to provide an explanation of how the works are similar and how they differ. Finally, you will need to draw conclusions regarding which are most convincing, which present the best information, and which ones make the most significant impact on the understanding of the topic being researched. Making this determination will rely heavily upon considering the author's credentials, the objectivity of the author, the author's persuasiveness, and the value of the author's arguments.
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