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10 Libraries for Authentic Thesis Literature Review Plus Components to Include and Mistakes to Exclude

In the literature review a student basically needs to make a quite extensive presentation of what literature sources on the particular chosen topic he or she found. As a rule the sources are not limited to the printed or online materials, within research the one can use a great variety of sources, including unconditional ones like prospects, articles and periodicals, videos and original documentations.

In fact, the most valuable materials will consist of original sources and documents you can derive from top libraries. If you are getting ready for the thesis literature review or a review for the dissertation you need to provide a comprehensive description, summary and sources evaluations. A perfect literature review should bring the new insights into existing heritage, provide the analysis and synthesis as well that is not a big deal if you know where to find the fast help for your lit review.

thesis literature review online

Structure of Literature Review for Dissertation

When writing the thesis literature review you need to keep in mind that structure can’t be strictly defined, you don’t need to adjust to the strict rules, rather the structure will be defined by the topic itself and the research areas.

  • Comparing and contrasting gathered information sources will be your primary task. Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean just putting the information together and rendering the contents, the structure needs to be defined by topic area, applying various approaches and ideas towards it and developing your own theories considering the subject matter.
  • In each section the literature should be contrasted and the main value extracted from each point of view. In the research process it is important not to forget about linking the information to your own topic.
  • While adjusting the sources together it is important to use linking words that will smooth together the content in the substantial passages. Thus, for instance, if you combine together ideas delivering the same meaning you can use words and phrases like “similarly, also, again mentioning, in addition, etc.”
  • In case of the contrasting information for the better impact you use word constructions indicating your personal awareness of the contradictory content, here you can use “however, on the contrary, conversely, nevertheless, etc.”

To sum up your finished review you can put the merging paragraph in the end, that will melt together all the mentioned earlier theories, facts and sources, it should comprise all that the literature sources imply, still gathering them in the one defining key contribution to your own theory developing.

literature review for dissertation tips

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The literature review should include the following features according to Caulley (1992) of La Trobe University:

  • Different authors’ views comparison
  • Groupings and clusters of the sources with similar meaning, conclusions
  • Methodology criticizing
  • Analysis of key points of disagreement
  • Highlighting of the main studies
  • Highlighting research gaps
  • Relating your study in context to the earlier studies on the topic
  • Relating your study to the literature in general
  • Generalization and conclusion on the literature summary

Components of the Literature Review

The literature review should include the following 5 components:

  • The literature objective review
  • Subject under consideration overview
  • The opposed and supportive sources structuring, combining in the blocks arguments with different approaches.
  • Evaluation and synthesis
  • Discussion of both the distinctiveness of each source and its similarities with the others

Writing the Review

Before you start writing your thesis literature review it is critical to select the sources right and sift through the unnecessary information. Whereas in the literature review you’re generally supported with helping sources and booklists, when writing one for the dissertation you need to go through an independent “book-decision-selecting-process”. On this stage the synthesis is the leverage that will help you select the good materials, think of what materials you are more willing to use in your review and set the quality standards for the containing information, such can be f.g the source age, volume, etc.

Just after you determined the parameters it’s time to think of your topic. What is it that you will have to prove or find out through it? Is it a methodology, theory, policy or particular research you’re picking as an objective? Generate the list of the areas and questions and then get down to looking for the purpose to answer those. If you stumble across some good piece of particularly valuable information adjust it to your sources, otherwise use your helping scrap of paper in order not to get lost in the endless internet informational noise.

literature review topics online

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No worthy literature review goes without a clear argument line and critics developed as the result of learning information served from various angles and points of view. That’s why exactly you will have to:

  • Introduce the key literature sources and findings at the beginning giving the right order of arguments with rational supportive statements.
  • Provide the clear distinction between the facts uncovered and your own theories and points, if needed use the quotation marks. Finish each of the paragraphs with short conclusions.
  • For strengthening your argument use the opposing points of view, don’t ignore them, it shows your determination in serious and deep research and characterizes you as an open-minded and unbiased researcher.

lit review for thesis topics

Stiliterature review outlineck to the academic formatting and writing style. Learn how to improve your writing abilities so that your sentences wouldn’t sound unprofessional or odd. For instance, in the formal academic style writing it is unacceptable to use “says”, instead try to pick “argues”, “claims” or “states” as widely adopted alternatives. The past tenses are used for mentioning events, experiments and research in particular whereas the present tenses for general facts and theories.literature review abstract

“Although Trescothick (2001) argues that attack is the best defense, Boycott (1969) claims that …”
“In a field study carried out amongst the homeless of Sydney, Warne (1999) found that …”

Remember also that you need to avoid plagiarism of the sources, for this use the right citing of the materials and separate your own opinion from the concepts stated by the literature sources you’ve gathered.

How to Find the Source You Need

best literature review topicsElectronic searches lead to only about ten percent of the articles that will comprise an exhaustive review. There are several approaches to locate the remaining 90%. The most effective method may be to search the references of the articles that were retrieved, determine which of those seem relevant, find those, read their references, and repeat the process until a point of saturation is reached—a point where no new relevant articles come to light.

30 Literature Review Topics in a Dissertation/Master’s Thesis

  • How physical intimidation influences the way people are bullied.
  • Living with chronic illnesses: How are those with a chronic illness treated by their families since their diagnosis?
  • African-American vernacular English and European-American youth identities.
  • Effects of communication on marital satisfaction.
  • Can small-city downtowns remain viable? A national study of development issues and strategies.
  • The determinants of provincial minimum wages in Canada.
  • Adolescent depression and attachment.
  • The impact of terrorist attacks on college students.
  • The changing face of diplomatic history.
  • Critical race theory in education: A review of past literature and a look to the future.
  • Comparing rosuvastatin to atorvastatin for the treatment of hypercholesterolemia.
  • Effects of rosuvastatin versus atorvastatin, simvastatin, and pravastatin on non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, apolipoproteins, and lipid ratios in patients with hypercholesterolemia.
  • What are the effects of prolonged steroid use on the human body?
  • The doomsday argument: a literature review.
  • Investigate differences in rates of injury recovery and overcoming illness based on cultural parameters.
  • How do men and women communicate differently using body language, and why does it matter (in dating, the workplace, and social circles)?
  • Campaign funds and their relation to political advertising.
  • How has United States censorship changed over the decades?
  • Democratic kingmaker, influence on political succession.
  • Securing Internet commerce: is it possible in today’s arms’ race of hackers and evolving technology?
  • Should media producers prosecute students and individuals that they suspect of downloading copyrighted materials?
  • Should the federal government legalize the use of marijuana?
  • How have oil spills affected the planet and what steps are being taken to prevent them?
  • Wildlife conservation: what efforts are being taken to protect endangered wildlife?
  • Should the use of coal be subjected to stricter environmental regulations than other fuels?
  • Military support vs. economic development of third world countries.
  • How are the Great Depression and the Great Recession similar and different?
  • Research and analyze the emergence of the Catholic Church as a political force following the collapse of the Roman Empire.
  • Is America winning or losing the War? What is the measurement of success? Have the benefits outweighed the costs?
  • What would happen globally if the demand for natural resources is greater than the supply?

The Most Common Mistakes in Literature Review Writings

Here gathered the 7 most common mistakes made by doctoral students whilst preparing their thesis or dissertation literature review, check them before starting your work and you will be able to avoid the most common failures.

  • Skipping the sources indicated in the list. If you mentioned the source in your review you need to include the content of the source in your review as well.
  • Using mostly secondary sources by the doctoral students.
  • Ignoring the methodology section that gives the valuable prompts for the writing process.
  • Picking the topic that is too broad in meaning causing the indefinite research results.
  • Student makes copies with pages missing.
  • The absence of the keywords of the topic in the literature review.
  • Not caring for creating the journal articles reference section.

Keep in mind that the main idea of lit review for thesis or dissertation is not the source listing. The key point is to form your own critical author’s opinion formed under the influence of gathered sources. If your literature review not only states all the ideas and theories known from before but also sets the new questions and creates the ground for discussion then congratulations, your literature review is a success!

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