How Do You Write a Dissertation Literature Review?


Quick Answer

To write a literature review for a dissertation, start by organizing your resources in order of importance or how they are presented in the dissertation. In the body of the review, discuss why or how each resource helps your research. Focus on your theory as it compares to the theories presented by the authors of your resources. Conclude with how the resources informed your dissertation or research methods.

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Full Answer

Create an outline of your resources that follows the way you organized them. This outline often helps the layout of the dissertation by creating subsections or an order of topics. Take notes on the resources as you read them to help you write the review. Focus on ideas such as the arguments presented, whether you agree with the conclusion and what the resource taught you that helps your dissertation.

Have a literature resource for any theory represented in your dissertation. Discuss how each theory was supported or defended by at least one of your resource, and then discuss any problems you encounter with resources, such as contradictions, weaknesses or unanswered questions. Finish the review with your conclusions about the topic as it pertains to your resources and what hypotheses or research questions you discovered that led you to write your dissertation.

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