How to Write a Literature Review for a Dissertation

How to Do a Literature Review for a Dissertation

Published by on 2021-04-21 10:26:59

Writing a Dissertation Literature Review Guide

The literature review chapter remains an inevitable part of any dissertation. Even in case you’ve already written literature reviews for other types of academic assignments, you will need to know that the one for the dissertation has its particular features. What key factors should be taken into account for the easy and successful writing of this challenging chapter? How to write a literature review for a dissertation? We’ve got the answers to these questions and are ready to share the most up-to-date info about the topic with you. 

Literature Review Dissertation: The Basic Concepts 

Many students believe that this chapter should contain the most relevant information about the topic of your academic assignment. However, this is not 100% true. The fact is that you are expected to provide the analysis of each source of information and data you describe in the literature review. Moreover, it is important to find a gap in the chosen field of study that has not been precisely described by other scientists. This means you need to point out these facts and features: 

  • the details about the most relevant sources of information you’ve used;
  • the writers’ and scientists’ intellectual developments regarding the chosen issue;
  • the analysis of each opinion, including its strong and weak sides;
  • old and the newest interpretations of the selected problem;
  • various approaches used for solving the issue;
  • the most relevant data about the research;
  • the informational gap you are planning to fill in your dissertation. 

Writing A Literature Review For A Dissertation: The Primary Step 

The best solution to create an excellent literature review for your academic paper is to ask your academic advisor for its examples. You can also look for this info online to grasp what and how you are expected to write. 

If you decide to search for the solution online, pay attention to academic papers related to your area of study since various subjects might have different requirements for composing a dissertation literature review outline. This simple trick will help you understand the structure and the writing style you should use in your paper better.  However, avoid picking too much info from the papers of other students available online. First, they might contain some mistakes or outdated info. Second, this might boost the level of plagiarism in your paper. 

Writing a Literature Review For a Dissertation: What To Do Next? 

You will be amazed to know that any literature review for a dissertation can be composed in three easy steps. Here they go for your convenience. 


The starting point of your writing should be the identification of the sources. In some cases, you might have a list of sources provided by your academic advisor. This way, your job is likely to be easier - stick to this list with no need to do advanced research. 

However, if you are not that lucky, it is important to choose only modern, reliable, and comprehensive sources for composing a literature review. It is better to collect info using books and scientific journals, as well as find other sources with the published works of reputable authors.

Some experts recommend writing a list of keywords to do advanced research for the most fitting sources for your academic paper. This trick is likely to speed up the process and allow you to gather all the necessary info in a fast and productive way. After you’ve created a hotlist of sources you are planning to use, don’t forget to double-check the info before getting on writing. Verify the author of the publication, its data, and its relevance to your topic beforehand. 

By the way, you can use some online utilities to store and organize your sources in the most convenient manner. Moreover, online tools can help you format your sources and citations according to the style required by the professor. This way of organizing your bibliography is handy and 100% reliable. 


Now, it’s time to read, analyze, and examine the chosen sources. It is always a good idea to make notes and add bookmarks during reading. You can also point out some specific info: 

  • the main argument in the chosen source;
  • the pros and cons of the other author’s solution;
  • the perspectives and possible outcomes of the solution;
  • your viewpoint about the text.

It is better to analyze each source from your list using the same schema. It also will help you make your writing more concise, comprehensive, and readable. 


The final part of the literature review is finding a gap in the huge mass of various studies. It might be a question you haven’t found the answer to or a field that lacks detailed research. Anyway, it should be a brand-new issue that was not explored by other scientists. The main goal of finding the gap is coming up with innovation and making your research process completely unique. In other words, you will need to demonstrate brilliant analytical skills and an ability to notice the minor aspects of the chosen issue. 

Most learners find it to be the most complicated task. Finding a gap that will become the heart of the entire dissertation is not easy, but if you do extremely detailed research, you are likely to find the best topic to write about. 

Final Words 

Many students require professional help with dissertation literature review. If you need some assistance in composing this part of your academic paper, our expert writers can do this job for you within the shortest terms. This way, you will get a brilliant dissertation much easier and faster.