Dissertation Writing Tips: Conducting a lit Review

A literary review for a dissertation is an analytical overview of written published works in relation to your topic. The purpose of a lit review may vary depending on your audience. You may work to provide information on something your audience may know little about. Or, you may work to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise if the audience is familiar with the subject matter.

What You Should Remember When Writing Your Literary Review

It may seem easy enough to conduct a review on a piece of literary content used for your dissertation. But because the purpose of this is unique and requires a considerable amount of critical thinking, you should consider a few points to help you further understand the purpose and what to include in the actual review.

Once you have an idea of what the purpose is and what it does for the dissertation, you may want to consider seeking samples to help put it together to help you create your own review. The following points are prime areas of a literary review you should get to know and understand to help you create your own content.

  • Comparing your work to research that has already taken place on the topic. As one of the main reasons why a lit review is completed you are sharing your observations in what has already been done versus what you have contributed.
  • Detail pertinent issues related to your topic. You want to show you know about your topic in more ways than one while detailing areas of importance your research may provide further insight for.
  • Define relationships between works completed in the past. You may have come across content that was completed in the past and you need to show how your work is connected.
  • Try to highlight possible gaps found in previous research completed. Provide insight on how your work attempted to fill in missing information to provide further clarity of an issue.
  • Access conflicts, if any, that arose from research previously done. Maybe there has been areas of disagreement in the past about a certain subject matter or possible outcome for completed research you want to highlight.
  • Provide insight on literary work that helps give your research meaning. This is like giving credit to work that has been established, but you want to show how it provides more meaning to what you have completed. Encourage more research to be done beyond work you have completed.