University of Michigan Library Research Guides. Ask a Librarian. This is a multidisciplinary guide for graduate students interested in first steps to consider when starting a literature review for their dissertation.
Library guides to effective searching
What is a Literature Review? Discussion of both the distinctiveness of each source and its similarities with the others. Steps in the literature review process Preparation of a literature review may be divided into four steps: Define your subject and the scope of the review.
Search the library catalogue, subject specific databases and other search tools to find sources that are relevant to your topic. Read and evaluate the sources and to determine their suitability to the understanding of topic at hand see the Evaluating sources section. Analyse, interpret and discuss the findings and conclusions of the sources you selected. Evaluating sources In assessing each source, consideration should be given to: What is the author's expertise in this particular field of study credentials?
Are the author's arguments supported by empirical evidence e. Is the author's perspective too biased in one direction or are opposing studies and viewpoints also considered? Does the selected source contribute to a more profound understanding of the subject?
The structure of a literature review
Examples of a published literature review Literature reviews are often published as scholarly articles, books, and reports. Here is an example of a recent literature review published as a scholarly journal article: Ledesma, M. Synthesize different sources that take a similar approach to a topic. It would be impractical to devote a paragraph in your lit review to each individual source. So, find ways to group sources together within paragraphs.
There are various ways to synthesize sources that include:  Synthesizing sources by method by comparing different academic works that follow a similar operating method this is especially prevalent in the hard sciences Synthesizing sources by topic, since your lit review should be broad enough to cover at least 4—5 different subfields within your area of study.
Maintain your own writing voice when composing the lit review.
How to Write the Literature Review Chapter of a Dissertation or Thesis
Aim to create a conversation between yourself and the sources you have read. Proofread your lit review before moving on with your dissertation. Once you have written the review, it is important to check the entire chapter before moving ahead. Reread your review to catch mistakes in sentence mechanics, grammar, and spelling. Reviewing your work will also give you a chance to expand on any sections that seem short or underdeveloped. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered.
10 Tips For Writing a Good Literature Review For A Dissertation
Already answered Not a question Bad question Other. Tips Give yourself at least months to write the literature review.
If you're seriously struggling to write your literature review, you can consult a professional editorial company to help you write your review. Related wikiHows. Article Summary X To write a literature review for a dissertation, start with an introduction that gives an overview of the topic. Did this summary help you? Yes No. Did this article help you?
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Co-Authored By:. Christopher Taylor, PhD. Co-authors: 5. Updated: October 17,