Tricks to Writing a Good PhD Dissertation Literature Review
When grading a literature review chapter of a dissertation, a professor will look at whether you have presented, summarized, and analyzed various scholarly material. Sources accepted in the academic works include government publications, scientific reports, scholarly journals, books, and trustworthy newspapers. The literature review section would not be complete unless it incorporates other crucial elements, such as:
- The relationship between the sources used.
- Existing gaps in previous literature.
- Background overview of the issue or hypothesis under consideration.
- Aims and objectives of the review.
- A clear organization and flow of sources selected to support the thesis statement.
- Explains how each source contributes to gaining more information about the research area.
In case there are any contradictory studies, resolve the conflict. Remember to explain and make it clear that further research is needed and point out to it.
The process of composing a great dissertation chapter starts with defining the scope of the review. The next step is to find recent and relevant sources. Students can get scholarly sources from online databases, school libraries, and other trustworthy search tools. You will notice that with a simple keyword, you can find many research material for that topic.
Since you are working with a deadline, its best to narrow the search and set a specific number of sources to have. That way, you will avoid wasting a lot of time and energy gathering numerous sources, some of which you won’t use.
After you have obtained the number of sources you desire, the next crucial step is to read through each literature and make short notes. This will help simplify the analysis process and make the writing much more manageable. When assessing the credibility and relevance of each source consider the following:
- The author’s perspective. Consider whether the viewpoints are biased or opposing your research question.
- Overall contribution. Determine whether the chosen source adds a more profound understanding of the subject matter.
- Credentials. Check to see if the author is a subject expert and whether their arguments are supported by irrefutable evidence from qualitative or quantitative studies.
- The next step is to analyze the findings. Make sure your interpretation is not biased but informative.
Discuss the results of each literature and add a brief conclusion. Connect research from other authors in your field of study to your study and explain their contributions. This is a crucial grading criterion because a professor will use the literature review to gauge whether or not you are up to date with the literature in your discipline.
Besides, without in-depth research, a student will not know where the current gaps are and which material will help answer your research question. Once you know the gaps that exist in that subject, it becomes easier to formulate a research question that is focused and that which no one in your field has written about.
The final step is to proofread the dissertation chapter and ensure it is clear and has a logical flow. Remove any redundant sentences and check to ensure your literature review is written using the correct tense and has not exceeded the allotted word count.