To help you choose your sources appropriately, you might want to think about the parameters and objectives of your research. In your literature review, what theoretical issues or perspectives do you aim to tackle? Will you focus on mainly qualitative or quantitative studies, or a mixture of both?
These general questions should help guide you in selecting your sources and again, remember that the abstract of a source is a very useful tool.
In a literature review, you're aiming to summarise and provide a critical analysis of the research arguments you have found in your readings, without making Now that we know what a literature review is, the next step is to understand the point of writing one in the first place.
Like it or not, a literature review is an essential part of any academic piece of writing, as it demonstrates to your tutor or reader that you have a nuanced understanding of the sources concerning your research area or question.
As unnatural as it may feel, it’s most effective to read in a few stages, as detailed below: First, go through all the texts to get a sense of their general content and arguments.
This will also help you judge which sources you mainly want to focus on in your review. Do you have any comments on the methodological approach, the theoretical argument or the general hypothesis? It will ensure that your literature review is not merely a summary of your readings, and will encourage a clear line of argument so that your work is logical and coherent.Reference tools such as Mendeley allow you to store your sources online and via a desktop app, and are a great way to keep your bibliography organised.The citation tools attached to these programmes will also allow you to simply export citations in a format of your choice when required later.A literature review may also provide a thorough and critical outline of the intellectual developments in a field with a focus on major, and often polemical, debates.In other scenarios, a literature review may also provide an assessment of a source and inform a reader about its validity, pertinence and relevance to the research subject.They will save you countless hours trying to figure out how to use Harvard or APA referencing correctly.Now that you have organised your sources efficiently, it’s time to read through them.If you haven’t been given a formal reference list by your tutor, refer back to the techniques we recommended earlier.Make sure that your sources are balanced; include enough books and academic journals and any useful published work from reputable scholars.As the next section of this blog is quite lengthy, we've broken it down into several key steps which should make it easier to follow when writing your own dissertation literature review.You start by identifying your sources, then you read and re-read them.