Writing of Literature Review Chapter

Part 1. Introduction

Many students make a mistake by writing book review instead of literature review. These are two different things. The Literature review section provides information on different books, scholar journals, articles, etc., which were used for researching the topic under discussion. After that, the writer has to critically evaluate each source and summarize information presented there. The main aim of this section is to present relevant information related to the discussed topic.

Part 2. Important Components

Reviewing literature presupposes involving four main stages. They help to cover all the important issues and include the following:

  • Formulation of the problem. Your task here is to provide information on the field of study or the topic you work on, as well as its main issues.
  • Looking for appropriate literature. This stage involves looking for relevant materials.
  • Evaluation of information. At this stage, the writer determines what sources contribute the most to the research and understanding of the topic.
  • Analysis and interpretation of data. This stage involves analyzing and discussing the most important sources and making conclusions.

Some of the main elements of literature review include the following:

  • The writer has to provide background information on the topic under discussion, the main problem, as well as to explain the main objectives and purpose of reviewing different pieces of literature.
  • It is important to divide the reviewed sources under specific categories. For instance, the writer can outline three groups:
 
  1. Sources that support the writer’s position;
  2. Sources that oppose the writer’s viewpoint;
  3. Sources, which support a different viewpoint.
  • The writer has to explain similarities and differences of each source compared to others.
  • To summarize the findings by providing information on what sources support the stance the best, which of them provide the most persuasive arguments, and which contribute most to the understanding of the discussed topic.

The important things that have to be taken into consideration while evaluating sources:

  • The objectiveness of work. The writer has to answer the following questions:
  1. Does the writer ignores opposing opinions?
  2. Is the information presented prejudices and biased?
  • How persuasive the work is. Evaluate which sources are the most and the least persuasive.
  • Value of the source. Does the work add value to your own research? How convincing the writer is? How big is the contribution of the source to topic understanding?
  • Originality of the work. Does the writer support the information by presenting some evidences (primary sources, statistics, historical data, and relevant research findings)? Does the writer has any credentials?

Part 3. Purpose

Literature review can be presented both as a part of a dissertation or as a separate paper. Regardless of its format, this section usually has the following purposes:

  • Evaluates each work in terms of its contribution to the current research and understanding of the discussed topic;
  • Helps understand how each work relates to the other existing works on a given topic.
  • Fills in the gap in the existing knowledge.
  • It is aimed at preventing duplication of previously presented information.
  • Provides new insight into topic discussion and interpretation.
  • Helps the writer to put his own work in the context of already existing researches.
  • Gives recommendations on how to make the future research to cover the discussed topic better.

Literature review is an extremely important part of dissertation writing. By following the tips provided above, you will be able to complete your task without any problems.