Dissertation literature review

The Ideal Dissertation Literature Review Structure

Format of a Dissertation Literature Review

During the writing process for a dissertation, you have to find and analyze relevant publications related to your topic and try to order a paper essay. This works to deliver an overview of the current knowledge available in that field of study. Carryings out a critical assessment of existing literature helps to find gaps that your project will help to address. Sounds easy, right? Of course not.

There is more to writing a quality literature review than just assessing selected readings. You must first identify where you are going to find credible academic texts. It can be from books, journals, newspaper articles, and government publications. Other accepted ways to find relevant scholarly material include:

  • Use an electronic database to search for reliable information.
  • Look at reference lists of already published material as it points you to work relevant to your topic.
  • Relevant up to date print journals.
  • Since you are likely to find a huge chunk of information, it helps set boundaries and consider the time you have set aside to complete the whole document. This helps to choose realistic numbers of sources that can be covered within the set word limit. It also helps to make the writing process achievable.

The information has to be sifted and organized in such a way that it makes sense to the reader. The content must also be formatted based on a specific style and font that works to ensure the intended objectives are clearly communicated. Incorporating all the crucial details is easy as long as you know the literature review structure to follow. Here is an outline that will make it easier to compose that dissertation chapter to help you out.


A literature review for a dissertation will follow the same structure as that of an academic paper. It will have:

  1. Introduction
  2. Discussion section
  3. Conclusion.

Keep in mind that you must read from a wide range of different literature then choose those closely related to your research. Next, compare their content and evaluate it. Finally, format the text in a way that increases readability.

Under the introduction section, give background information on each literature. Include the research aims and how the research will help answer the dissertation hypothesis or questions. Write this subsection while adhering to the word count allotted to the literature review. It is ideal for the introduction to cover 10% of the total literature review word count.

The discussion section should cover 70-80% of the total word count. This subsection should start with an evaluation of the literature and end with how the information helps answer ye research problem. Start with generalizing the subject rea then get into an in-depth analysis.

The concluding part of the literature review should be no more than 10% of the word count. It should summarize the crucial points of the literature analysis. You will know you have written a high-quality literature review when the information has been gathered from a wide range of sources, is clear and concise. Clear comparison and evaluation of the literature should also be included, and relevant subheadings added to break the monotony of the text and enhance readability.