Literature Review Dissertation: Expert Structuring Tips

The literature review of a dissertation should begin handling published works from a broad perspective. Each subsequent subsection should strive to narrow down the emphasis of the discussion towards the scope of the research. As such, students should try to achieve the desired structure of a funnel as they work on the literature review.

You may need to find academic content that may be relevant to your research, recently published, or provides some historical context to your dissertation. The literature review does not merely restate the arguments brought forward by the current body of knowledge. Instead, they should analyze the points and synthesize a hypothesis for the student. This article has tips to help you structure the section to chart a path towards fulfilling your dissertation’s objectives.

Thematic Structure of the Literature Review

In your quest to find sources for your literature review, you must have gathered material relevant to your study. You can structure this section to sort out the published works into groups characterized by specific themes. A dissertation should improve our understanding of a subject. Thus, the literature review should thematically highlight and cover existing trends.

Since you are gearing your efforts towards funneling your arguments towards the dissertation, enforce this idea in the thematic structure. Cover the large ones first them move systematically to addressing the central question your paper is trying to answer. Eventually, the literature review will lead you to a hypothesis to guide your research.

Chronological Structure of the Literature Review

Depending on your chosen topic of research, you can decide to structure your literature review chronologically. Begin from the earliest mentions of the subject and how the history informs your dissertation. The subheadings of this section could show the linear-based progression of what we know about the topic. This method allows you to take note of any advancements experienced in the field, as evident from the published works.

Remember that you are narrowing down to the topic. Hence, try to use literature that covers the most significant findings that eventually point to the dissertation’s objective. Additionally, you should employ a critical approach to your review of the published works. Besides, you should not be reporting what other researchers have found out.

Methodological or Theoretical Structure of the Literature Review

A dissertation may try to uncover a fresh approach to examining a topic. Consequently, the literature review could focus on surveying the methodological and theoretical strategies used in academic content. Nevertheless, the same rule applies—start from the general and move the specific. Thus, dissect the various methodologies and theories employed in other research to justify the need for the fresh take you want to present with your dissertation.

In summary, the literature review section should also follow the standard format—introduction, body, and conclusion. Regardless of the kind of structuring method you want to use, be sure to adhere to this arrangement. Moreover, you can ask your dissertation supervisor if you have uncertainties concerning the writing.

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