How to write literature review for thesis?

What is Literature Review?

Literature review for thesis or dissertation is the part with extensive reference to related research in your field. It is where you establish connection between the source texts, position yourself among these sources, and update the readers with the fill in. The purpose of LR also includes highlighting past research accomplishments breakthroughs, evaluate weakness of past research and group articles together on the basis of approaches undertaken by the authors.

How to select material for research purpose ? What to read for your research?

Look for authors or experts with relevant academic questions as you have.Start from the paper/reference your professor suggested. Look for the bibliography in that small article. Remember, each article is a node in the jungle of research. You have to catch each node and connect the dots on the overview. It from the extracting the relevant information from source to brain and then reproduce it in your thoughts.

How to arrange the findings from reading?

You can classify the readings according to their perspectives, biases, method or relevancy. also, you can arrange them chronologically starting from early to later period studies. Sometimes, you can also organize the authors based on their locations for a geographical study.

Write your summaries from each articles and arrange them afterwards. You need not read them in any order, but keep noting the features of each one, the findings , methods and the scope of further study. You can use Webclipping, Evernote, DrawBoard, Xmind for writing summaries and mindmapping. Webclipping is a chrome extension and rest of the four are freemium plan.

Reorder these summaries or paragraphs – find similarities, differences and any new findings. These reordering can be based on Cause-effects, or problem and solution or Series of advances made or Effective and Ineffective for example.

You can use transition words to show the thought movement from one paragraph to another.

What will be the English language requirement?

Even if you are not so bright in English, you still can write very good literature review, provided you have a ample amount of time to ponder over expressing your thoughts. Once you put your thoughts, you can hire and editor to edit your thesis/dissertation. If you have time to learn and do it on your own, then few tips for you will be :

Language for highlighting importance, interpreting:

  • This shows that / reveals / tells us / highlights the fact…
  • this is significant / important…
  • this is worth millions as / because it…
  • This calls attention to / this can be illustrated by / what this reveals/suggests…
  • crucial to this / significantly this suggests…
  • Illustrating / pointing to the need for…

Language for Critique:

  • A question that needs to be asked, however is …
  • A weakness of this argument, however is that…
  • One of the limitations with this explanation is that it…
  • this approach fails to take into account….
  • This study would have been more useful if it had…

Will paraphrase or summary be needed?

You will need both paraphrasing and summary.

Lets understand the recommended method of paraphrasing.

  • Change the order of underlying ideas without changing the sense
  • combine and simplify the sentence structures
  • change word forms like main verb into a noun or main noun into a verb
  • Use transition tools like because, although, however etc
  • Change from Passive voice to active voice and vice versa
  • Synchronize the main ideas in your writing and the original text

In summaries, however, you present a shortened version of the original text. Paraphrasing is approximately the same length as the original and involves a text in your own words.

Use this step by step process to write a structured literature review easily. In case you need any help in literature review for thesis, you can contact the author through email

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