How To Compose The Best Dissertation Literature Review


Academic writers are expected to produce a high level of review of the published literature pertaining to their topic. The literature serves several purposes, including the following:

  • Gives the reader with less knowledge on your topic a way to learn more.
  • Demonstrates you are familiar with your topic and you have some expertise.
  • Shows the context of your original work in comparison to existing work.
  • Helps interpret the issues that surround your topic.
  • Helps point the way for further research needing to be done.

How do you decide what to include in your literature review?


Consider the credentials of the author of each piece of literature. Can they be verified? Is their perspective objective or subjective? Are their arguments convincing? Does their data and findings have value as a foundation to what you want to accomplish with yours?

The structure of the review largely depends on what style you are using for example APA style, as well as what you want to accomplish. Do you want a section for varying opinions of different topics? Do you want a section on controversial issues? They must all link to your own purpose of your work.

Steps to writing the review:


  1. Include a short, clear introduction which provides the reader with an outline of the review.
  2. Use a clear line of argument. Use critical comments and notes and express your academic perspective.
  3. There should be a clear link between the evidence you are presenting in the review and your own arguments. Provide a short summary at the commencement of each section.
  4. Always give room to acknowledge other opinions which don’t necessarily agree with or support your thesis. Ignoring opposite viewpoints will actually make your argument seem weaker.

Use a formal and academic style. Your writing should avoid personal language and colloquialisms. Keep it clear and concise and respectful. Don’t interject strong emotion or informal language. Avoid plagiarism at all costs. Always cite your sources and make sure you always reference ideas of someone else’s you are stating. For a final checklist and polish-up of your review, consider if you have succeeded with your purpose for the review. Have you explored all the viable options pertaining to the work you are trying to accomplish? Have you cited and referenced everything properly? Have you done a thorough search? Make sure you proofread and correct any errors.