How to write a Literature review for your Dissertation

Writing a literature review is the first part of your dissertation.


The literature review is a composed review of significant compositions and different sources on a chosen subject. Sources shrouded in the survey may incorporate academic journal articles, books, administration reports, Web-sites, and so forth. The literature review gives a depiction, rundown and assessment of each source. It is normally exhibited as a particular segment of an alumni proposal or exposition.

A decent literature review doesn’t just précis sources, it targets to,

  • Evaluate, understand and critically assess the literature.
  • Produce sources to highpoint outlines, subjects, conflicts, and gaps.
  • Demonstrate the state of existing facts in relative to a significant study question or hypothesis.

You will learn

  • When do you need to compose a literature review? 
  • Gather, assess and choose literature. 
  • Discover associations and subjects. 
  • Design your literature review’s structure. 
  • Compose your literature review.


If you compose a proposal or paper, you should lead a literature review to arrange your exploration inside current information. You may remember it for the presentation or theoretical framework, or it may be a different part that precedes the methodology and results segments. 

You may likewise be allocated a literature review as an independent paper. The substance will appear to be somewhat unique for each situation; however, the way toward leading a literature review will follow similar advances.



Before you start looking for literature, you need a barely characterized theme. 

In the event that you are composing the literature review section of a thesis or research paper, you will look for literature identified with your examination issue and questions. This is the initial phase in accepting the condition of information on your theme before you start your own study. 

In the event that you are composing a literature review as an independent task, you should pick a concentration and build up a central question to coordinate your research. Not at all like a thesis research question, must this inquiry be liable without gathering or creating new information. You ought to have the option to answer it dependent on an survey of current distributions.

Dissertation research question

In what manner can the fulfilment of organization X\’s online clients be improved so as to build client dependability? 

Literature review research question

What is the connection between client gratification and consumer reliability?


Start by making a list of keywords identified with your examination subject and question. Certain valuable databases to look for journals and articles include: 

  • Your university’s library catalogue.
  • Google Scholar.
  • JSTOR.
  • EBSCO.
  • Project Muse (humanities and social sciences).
  • Medline (life sciences and biomedicine).
  • EconLit (economics).
  • Inspec (physics, engineering and computer science).

At the point once you locate a valuable article, check the reference list to discover increasingly applicable sources. To distinguish any significant productions that didn\’t appear in your keyword search, observe repeating references. In the event that similar writers, books or articles continue showing up in your perusing, make a point to search them out. You can discover how frequently an article has been referred to on Google Scholar; high reference tallies mean the article has been compelling in the field.


You most likely won\’t have the option to peruse totally everything on the theme start by perusing the abstract to decide if the article is valuable. You should assess which sources are generally significant and applicable to your inquiries. 

For each publication, ask yourself:

  • What question or problem is the author addressing?
  • What are the qualities and shortcomings of the study? 
  • What are the key ideas and how are they characterized? 
  • What are the key hypotheses, models and strategies? Does the examination utilize built up systems or adopt an imaginative strategy? 
  • What are the outcomes and finishes of the investigation? 
  • How does the publication identify with other writing in the field? Does it affirm, add to, or challenge built up information? 
  • How does the publication add to your comprehension of the point? What are its key bits of knowledge and contentions? 

Ensure the sources you utilize are tenable, and ensure you read any milestone studies and significant hypotheses in your field of research. The extent of your survey will rely upon your point and order: in the sciences you generally just analyse latest literature, however in the humanities you may take a long authentic viewpoint (for instance, to follow how an idea has changed in importance after some time).



As you read, you ought to likewise start the composing procedure take note of that you can later consolidate into the content of your literature review. It is critical to monitor your sources with references to avoid plagiarism

It may be useful to mark an explained bibliography, where you bring together full reference data and compose a section of outline and investigation for each source. This encourages you recall what you read and spares time later all the while. You can utilize our free reference programming to rapidly make precise and reliable APA references or MLA design references.


To start sorting out your literature review’s contention and structure, you have to distinguish connections between the sources you\’ve perused. In light of your reading and notes, you can search for: 

  • Tendencies and outlines (in principle, strategy or results): do assured methodologies become pretty much or less popular after some time? 
  • Subjects: what questions or ideas repeat over the literature? 
  • Discussions, clashes and inconsistencies: where do sources oppose this idea? 
  • Essential publications: are there any compelling hypotheses or concentrates that altered the course of the field? 
  • Gaps: what is absent from the literature? Are there shortcomings that should be tended to? 

This progression will assist you with working out the structure of your literature review and (if relevant) show how your own examination will add to existing information.


There are different ways to deal with arranging the body of a literature review. You ought to have a harsh thought of your procedure before you begin composing. Contingent upon the length of your literature review, you can join a few of these procedures for instance, your general structure may be thematic, yet each subject is examined chronologically.


The easiest methodology is to follow the improvement of the point after some time. Be that as it may, in the event that you pick this methodology, be mindful so as to keep away from basically listing and outlining sources all together. Attempt to break down examples, defining moments and key discussions that have formed the heading of the arena. Give your understanding of how and why certain advancements happened.


If you have discovered some common main subjects, you can sort out your literature review into subsections that address various parts of the point. 

For instance, on the off chance that you are checking on writing about imbalances in transient wellbeing results, key subjects may incorporate medicinal services strategy, language boundaries, social frames of mind, lawful status, and monetary access.


If you draw your sources from various disciplines or fields that utilization a diversity of research techniques, you should look at the outcomes and conclusions that rise up out of various methodologies. For instance: 

  • See what consequences have risen in subjective versus quantitative research. 
  • Examine how the theme has been drawn nearer by exact versus hypothetical grant. 
  • Divide the literature into sociological, authentic, and social sources.


A literature review is frequently the establishment for a theoretical framework. You can utilize it to talk about different hypotheses, models, and meanings of key ideas. You may contend for the pertinence of a particular hypothetical methodology, or consolidate different hypothetical ideas to make a framework for your exploration.



Similar to some other scholastic content, your literature review ought to have a presentation, a principle body, and a conclusion. What you take in for each relies on the goal of your literature review.


The introduction should obviously create the emphasis and determination of the literature review.

Dissertation literature review

In the event that you are composing the literature review as a major aspect of your paper or thesis, repeat your main issue or research question and give a short outline of the insightful setting. You can underscore the practicality of the point (\”numerous on-going investigations have concentrated on the issue of x\”) or feature a hole in the writing (\”while there has been a lot of research on x, barely any scientists have spiced over y\”).

Stand-alone literature review

If you are composing an independent paper, give some foundation on the point and its significance, talk about the extent of the writing you will survey (for instance, the timespan of your sources), and express your goal. What new knowledge will you draw from the writing?


Contingent upon the length of your literature review, you should distribute the body into subsections. You can utilize a subheading for each topic, timeframe, or methodological methodology. 

As you compose, you can follow these tips: 

  1. Summarize and synthesize: give a review of the central matters of each source and consolidate them into a reasonable completeness.
  2. Analyse and interpret: don\’t simply summarize different analysts include your own translations where conceivable, talking about the hugeness of discoveries corresponding to the writing all in all.
  3. Critically evaluate: notice the qualities and shortcomings of your sources 
  4. Write in well-structured paragraphs: use changes and theme sentences to draw associations, examinations and complexities.


In the conclusion, you must outline the key discoveries you have taken from the writing and accentuate their noteworthiness.

Dissertation literature review

If the literature review is a portion of your thesis or dissertation, show how your examination tends to gaps and contributes new information, or talk about how you have drawn on existing hypotheses and techniques to assemble a framework for your study.

Stand-alone literature review

If you are composing an independent paper, you can talk about the general ramifications of the writing or make recommendations for future research dependent on the gaps you have recognized.

Once done composing your literature review, remember to edit proofread before offering it to other people.





McCombes, S. (2019, February 22). scribbr A trustpilot. Retrieved from scribbr editor: