What is a Literature Review for a Dissertation?

How to Write a Literature Review for a Dissertation?

How to Write a Literature Review for a Dissertation?

A literature review is a key component of a dissertation, and it has several functions. It must provide a critical evaluation of the sources and their impact on the topic. It should contain notes, critical analysis, and general hypotheses and arguments, which will ensure that the paper does not simply summarize the sources. The notes you write will also help you develop a coherent line of argument, ensuring that the readers of your paper are able to clearly see how they fit into the bigger picture.


The first step to writing a literature review for a dissertation is to determine the purpose of your study. You will use this outline to develop a clear focus for your paper. Then, determine how to organise your review. It is best to follow a systematic, logical structure that links the different studies and authors. You should also avoid using quotes directly from the works. While the structure of your literature review will vary from institution to institution, there are certain general rules that will apply to your paper.

A chronological review organizes the sources by date of appearance. This method is useful for historiographical papers and other forms of writing in which time is of great importance. For example, a literature review of mental illness might discuss the understanding of mental illness through the centuries, and conclude with theories and research that focus on current thinking about the problem. The chronological approach is also useful when you want to show the evolution of the topic over time.

There are many different ways to structure your literature review. The basic structure of an essay is a two-part structure, with an introduction and middle section, followed by a conclusion. The introduction should state the topic of your literature review, background theories, methodology, and gaps. The middle body should discuss sources and organization. The conclusion should summarize key findings and discuss the research’s place in existing knowledge. If you plan to include more than one source, consider adding an extra section to your literature review.


The Scope of the Literature Review for a dissertation should be carefully planned. The review should include the scope of the study, as well as the appropriate limitations for it. The limitations may be based on time, personnel, gender, age, location, or nationality. Depending on the topic, additional sections may be needed. The review should link the literature to existing knowledge in the field. For example, a review of the literature on childhood obesity would focus on that subject, but a literature review involving children might refer to that topic.

The scope of the review can be broadly divided into two types: traditional and scoping. Traditional reviews may be categorized as systematic reviews, while scoping reviews are more specific. Regardless of the type, there will be revisions and changes along the way. The following guidelines may help you decide which one is right for you. Here are some tips to help you write a literature review:

The scope of the literature review should include the current situation of the topic, as well as its history. In addition, it should include the methods of selection and whether or not the sources are peer-reviewed. In addition, the scope of the review should address the strengths and weaknesses of the study. It should include any landmark studies and major theories in the field. Use a literature review template to make it easier to summarize sources and keep track of your research.


A literature review can be structured in various ways. For instance, an argument paper should have a clear thesis statement and position, while a scientific paper should state a hypothesis. In either case, a literature review should have a purpose, a thesis statement, and be anchored to a particular point of view. It should also include relevant texts and top voices in the field. Here’s how to structure your review:

A literature review is more than a list of sources, however. Instead, it organizes the sources into categories based on their relation to your project. It also highlights specific arguments within the field, identifying areas of research that are missing and highlighting gaps. A well-written literature review demonstrates a thorough knowledge of the field and the state of research, and reflects the author’s credibility.

Literature reviews are generally written in the sciences, but can be written for humanities subjects as well. They often occur as part of a lab report, but can also stand alone. As with any research paper, a literature review should discuss a common theme or issue and provide background information. While it’s okay to cite a few sources, don’t use them extensively. It’s better to summarize them throughout the paper and keep your own voice.


In order to ensure that your dissertation is based on scholarly and peer-reviewed sources, you should outline your review. The review should be critical and structured by thematic areas, key debates, and methodological approaches. It should be dynamic and coherent, and it should clearly state gaps in the literature. For example, a dissertation review on a controversial topic should identify relevant literature and key debates in the field.

The format of your literature review depends on the topic of your dissertation. The introduction should contain a brief overview of your topic, background theories, methodology, and gaps in research. The main body of the literature review should contain an in-depth discussion of the sources and organizational strategy. The conclusion should highlight your most important findings and address the place they occupy in the existing body of knowledge. There are many different formats for literature reviews, and the structure should be clear and concise to avoid confusion.

The second type of literature review is called a chronological review. This method groups the sources according to their appearance in history and emphasizes changes in the field. It is particularly useful when researching methodology or historiography, or writing where time is important. For example, a literature review about mental illness might include the development of mental illnesses over the past centuries, and conclude with the latest theories and research. But, this style of review can be challenging for scholars, so it is important to know what works best for your dissertation.


The length of a literature review for a dissertation depends on the area of study, topic, and type of analysis. Generally, a literature review for a dissertation is between 40 and 60 pages. It should include several articles or books that relate to the topic. The length of the literature review is 5% to 10% of the dissertation’s total word count. Journal articles are shorter than books, but they are more specific.

While there is no standardized length for a literature review, the average length is between 6,000 and 12,000 words. This depends on the field and the amount of research and publications that are relevant to the topic. Regardless of the length, a literature review should be readable and easy to navigate. When completing a literature review, remember to filter out irrelevant publications and eliminate irrelevant information. This can be especially helpful for fields that have hundreds of papers.

While it’s important to include a diverse range of sources, it’s important to consider the validity of the work you’re reviewing. Don’t copy and paste from someone else’s dissertation or conference paper. In addition to reviewing the work of other scholars, the literature review must provide critical analysis of the work. A literature review is a critical evaluation of prior work, developing a limited study in more detail.

Scope of a literature review

The scope of a literature review for a dissertation depends on the topic of the research. It should be critical, and organized according to the key debates and thematic areas. It should also be cohesive and dynamic, and identify gaps in the literature. You can use a literature review template to make it easier to write. You can download it below. Use it to take notes as you read and organize the sources.

The scope of a literature review is often narrower than a systematic review. The purpose of the literature review is to identify what has been written about the topic. This step is vital for identifying trends, aggregating empirical findings, and supporting evidence-based practice. Similarly, it helps identify questions for further study. In addition to answering questions, a literature review can lead to new insights, as it can uncover patterns or trends that are not yet obvious.

A dissertation literature review will have a basic structure: an introduction, a middle body, and a conclusion. An introduction should clearly define the focus of the review, and state the specific topics that will be discussed. It should also establish the main arguments that will be made in the review, and it should tie these arguments to existing knowledge. The purpose of a literature review is to give the reader an understanding of the topic and help them decide whether to accept your argument or not.

For more information, visit:

Where to get help for dissertation?

How to write a dissertation proposal introduction?

What is clarity in writing dissertation?

How much does proofreading a dissertation charge?


dissertation services