Writing a Literature Review Dissertation Easily

Writing a dissertation can be a challenging and difficult task that you may feel hinders you from leading an active life. You may feel as if it inhibits your every wakening thoughts, that it is constantly on your back, always there so you can never get away from it. It may seem as if it is the only thing that you can think about and when you sit down to write if you break out in a cold sweat, horrified by the prospect of getting something wrong. Your dissertation can be your finest hour as a student, but it can also be one of your most depressing. You might consider throwing in the towel all together and wonder whether it is all worth it. Of course, in your heart, you know that it is. It is being unsure of what to do that is driving you to distraction and causing you sleepless nights. Once you know what to do then you will have no problem ensuring your work is of the highest possible standard. If your literature review is the piece of your dissertation that is keeping you up at night the most then don’t fear; this article will explain exactly how to do a literature review dissertation in the easiest way possible.

 

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It is best before we start dealing with the nuts and bolts of the issue, to discuss what exactly constitutes a literature review in a dissertation. The point of a literature review is to explore and examine the literature that is associated with the subject of your dissertation and to examine how it relates to your specific question. Therefore, a literature review is often key to the success of a dissertation as it can provide evidence to support your argument and demonstrate your ability to assess and interpret what other writers in the field of your research have stated.

A Literature Review is thus highly important to understanding the core of your dissertation. Whilst it might just seem as if your dissertation is simply like any other essay or exam, it is part of a much wider and more diverse field of research. The aim of your dissertation is not simply to contribute to your degree but also to add to the wider field of study for the area in which your dissertation is written. Your work should be about helping develop the intellectual coherence of the area you are studying, therefore being able to not only analyse but also being able to create a conversation between your work and the work of previous academics. At its core, your literature review can help to provide a new perspective and insight into the particular area that you are studying in – it can help change the direction of an entire area of academic learning.

What is also important to understand about both your literature review and the other elements of your dissertation is that to function properly, you must understand them as though they are part of a wider whole. Ultimately, all the elements of your dissertation will be reviewed as one piece of work and it is wise to understand that this means that your dissertation shouldn’t feel too disconnected. Some students feel that it is appropriate to treat the various elements of a dissertation as almost entirely separate as they find it easier to understand them. They then bring the various elements together at the end and hope that it will be perceived as one whole object. This won’t be the case and it is wrong to consider your literature review in isolation. It is not simply a review of the literature of your dissertation – it is a vital part of your dissertation that you must ensure is thoroughly connected to the rest of your piece. This doesn’t mean that you should try to write all elements of your dissertation at once – rather, that you should try to consider them as all part of one unit that you must ensure is written to the highest possible standard.

Now, it is time to best consider how to structure your literature review. Within your dissertation, your review must be structured in a particular way as to make clear that it is linked to the rest of your dissertation and make it easy for the reader to connect it to the rest of your dissertation. It is, therefore, vital that you ensure that the structure that you give to your review is consistent, clear and unambiguous as to its meaning. We shall, therefore, break down the ways that you can structure your essay to ensure it is of the highest possible quality.

  • Introduction. The structure of the introduction of your literature review is key to the success of it as a whole. Without a good, strong introduction your review will fall apart as the reader will either feel misinformed or bored by your introduction and thus will feel that your review as a whole isn’t up to the standard needed to make it an excellent piece of writing. If this is the case then it could affect how your dissertation is marked as a whole, which could impact negatively on it. This is why ensuring that you follow the correct specifications for the structure of your introduction is vitally important. Your introduction must begin with a rationale as to why you are reviewing the literature of this particular topic and how it is connected to your dissertation question and subject. You should then move on to providing a wider and broader explanation as to a wider context in which the literature review is written – how, for instance, it is connected to the rest of the literature of the topic. You should then move on to talking about specifics; what the scope of your review of the literature will be and what specific areas you will focus in on. For example, if your subject is History and you are doing a question for your dissertation on the impact of the Founding Father’s on the culture of America, you would specify that it was the specific area you would be examining and reviewing. Finally, you must state why you have picked certain books or other sources of literature to refer to. You can, briefly, go into detail about what you didn’t pick to include, however, it would be wise if you focussed instead on what you are reviewing. You can mention what you didn’t pick later on.
  • Main Text. When writing the main text of your literature review, it is important to consider how it will be read. This is to say that you need to understand how the reader will respond to the context of your analysis – if you make clear that your context is that you are writing a literature review and make that clear to the audience, then they will be more likely to understand and accept your text than if you tried to be overly jocular and weren’t clear that you were aware of the importance of the review. We will discuss, in more detail, how exactly to write your main text but in terms of structure, it is important to consider whether you want to break down your main body or not. Some students prefer to break down their literature review and clarify certain elements by the use of headings and sub headings, to make it easier for the reader to understand that they are reading about a particular area within the topic. For example, some students who are writing a dissertation about the America Revolution might separate out the writings of the Founding Fathers from work of a later period that commentates on their opinions. Similarly, some students would also separate out literature contemporaneous to the event they are discussing and literature that was written after the fact. This, of course, doesn’t mean you have to – some students don’t separate out the various piece of literature they are reviewing and are still able to create coherent, engaging and well written literature reviews. It is important that you follow the structure that you find the most engaging and that you know will help you the most. Don’t simply follow the easiest possible solution – do what you know, and think is right.
  • Conclusion. The structure for the conclusion of your literature review is as important as the introduction or the main body but is typically shorter. Here you can express any potential regrets you may have about the work you have done and express your satisfaction with it as well. Your conclusion must also tie together the threads from the main body of your literature review in order to demonstrate that you have come to some conclusion about the work you have been reviewing and that you have helped to support the general argument of your dissertation through analysis of the data.

It is important that, when writing your literature review, you don’t think of it as if it were a race. You have to be calm and collected and ensure that you have spent time collecting all the relevant elements of the literature you need for your review and dissertation and then sorted it into a means that makes it easy to reference it at any point. You must also ensure that you try to keep consistency between your dissertation and your literature review in order to make sure that they support one another and work together effortlessly to create a coherent and engaging document. It is also worth mentioning that you shouldn’t leave the writing of your literature review to the last minute and take your time to make it as impressive as possible.

After spending time considering how the format it, getting to grips with writing it and making sure that it is consistent with the rest of your dissertation, it is time to conclude your literature review and ensure that it is as impressive as possible. Hopefully, this article will have helped you to fully understand what a literature review dissertation is. However, if you have some qualms still then perhaps we can help.

Our professional writers ensure that your projects are of the highest possible quality. We provide services for anything from essays to literature reviews to CVs, cover letters and much more. So why not contact us today and see how we can help you.

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