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Useful Tips for Literature Review Layout


What You Should Know about Literature Review Layout

Many students give very little thought to the literature review layout. However, the way in which information is presented can affect the argument that you are trying to make. The layout of literature review papers is essentially very basic.

There are three main sections in a literature review and their position remains fixed. These are:

  1. Introduction – Provides a brief overview of the topic, explains its importance and includes your thesis statement.
  1. Body – Summary and analysis of the literature reviewed
  1. First main theme
  1. supporting point 1
  2. supporting point 2
  3. supporting point 3
  1. Second main theme
  1. supporting point 1
  2. supporting point 2
  3. supporting point 3
  1. Third main theme
  1. supporting point 1
  2. supporting point 2
  3. supporting point 3
  1. Conclusion – Summarize the main points and their significance, restate your thesis, and if appropriate suggest new research.

This is the basic literature review layout used in most literature reviews. The position of the introduction, the body and the conclusion will not change. Where changes in layout will occur is within the body. Besides, you may find information about the components of a literature review and which parts are always necessary on our site.

Important Changes in the Literature Review Layout

Useful Tips For Literature Review Layout

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Your sources will be grouped based on a theme/idea that you have determined to be the most effective way to present the information to support your thesis. Groupings may be based on the methodology used, chronologically or on some other theme. These groupings are the “structure” of the literature review. The changes made in the structure will depend on you as the reviewer. However there are some tips that can be used to help:

  • Although it isn’t required, in most cases the presentation of information begins with the more general information presented first and progressively becoming more specific.
  • Don’t wait until the last minute to include the most important information
  • Use index cards for listing each theme and points so you can move them around and get an idea of how changes will affect presentation
  • Be flexible. The best literature reviews almost never use their initial layout

If you aren’t sure what layout to use for your literature review our company offers a service that can help.

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