The literature review is the only part of a dissertation that can stand alone. For students, it is probably the most difficult part of a dissertation. To write a review of related literature, you first need to gather the source material. The authenticity of the source material is of paramount importance in academic writing. The review of related literature is the dissertation’s second chapter, irrespective of the disciplines.

Moreover, it aims to survey the scholarly articles to provide all necessary information about a particular topic. Therefore, the review of related literature is an act of compiling information on a topic by crediting original authors. So, this article will discuss the components of a related literature review, tips to start it and its five important writing steps. 

What Should Be Included In A Review Of Related Literature?

As described in the introduction section, the review of related literature is one of the toughest parts of the dissertation. Tasks often seem difficult when we do not have basic information about how to deal with them. Similarly, the literature review can also become easy by knowing about its structural elements. The following are some important things that one should include in a review of related literature:

The Objectives Of The Related Literature Review

The literature review mainly has two objectives. The first is to cover almost all related theories and evidence on the topic of interest. The second is writing one’s critical evaluation in the light of the previously published literature. Therefore, the existence of both theories and personal critical evaluation are the major concerns in the literature review.

A Birds-Eye View Of The Subjects Understudy

Another important thing that a review of related literature must contain includes the description of the subjects under study. Here, the writer has to suggest the possible relationships between the variables.

Proper Categorisation Of The Sources You Selected For Argument

Categorisation of the sources is another important thing to include in the review of related literature. To achieve this, the writer can choose any order and categorise techniques like chronological order, topical order and problem-cause-solution order. Moreover, general to specific and unknown to known approaches are also important to categorise the sources in the literature review.

Critical Evaluation; Opposing And Supporting Argument Relating Your Subject With The Source Material

Critical evaluation asks researchers to not only rely on the description. In critical evaluation, you must answer what, how, what if, and next questions to challenge the source information. This part aims to create a sense that all information provided in the literature may or may not be correct. 

How Do You Start A Review Of Related Literature?

The review of related literature is a summary and an explanation of the previous information about a topic. The summarization of facts along with the explanation is difficult for students. But one should remember that the toughest task can become easy by using some smart tips. So the following are some smart literature review starting tips, especially for beginners:

  1. Select a narrow topic of research
  2. Use potential keywords for searching for the most relevant information
  3. Set inclusion and exclusion criteria to streamline the research process
  4. Screen the selected articles and evaluate the quality of the information in it
  5. Read the selected articles to outline a proper structure of your review
  6. Pay more attention to critical analysis instead of description
  7. Use this outline to order the main body of your literature review 

The above steps are effective enough to deal with all essentials of a literature review. If you feel any issues, you can hire dissertation writing services UK to get your literature review written by experts.

What Are The Five Steps In Writing A Review Of Related Literature?

Writing a review of related literature includes collecting relevant literature, critical analysis, and evaluating what you found. All tasks involved in the writing process can be divided into five key steps:

Searching The Scholarly Sources Most Relevant To A Study

The quality of a review depends on the quality of the research. Keyword identification, keyword searching and topic/ abstract screening are important ways to research the most relevant information in scholarly databases.

Evaluation Of The Information Present In The Related Literature

After making a source library, the next step must be evaluating the information provided in a scholarly article. Checking the authority, usefulness, and reliability are the most sophisticated ways to evaluate the sources. The authority means who the author of a study (If he is a field expert or not) is. Usefulness guides whether the information is relevant to your studies. And last but not least, reliability aims to evaluate quality-related issues (biasness) and the credibility of academic journals from which source material was originally extracted.    

Identification Of The Themes And Gaps In The Related Literature

The first two steps help students successfully identify the literature gaps in related literature. The research/literature gap is the unexplored part of someone else’s research. Identifying and bridging the research gap aim to bring uniqueness to your work.

Logical Structuring Of The Information

Step four aims to solve the most common problem students often encounter while writing a review of related literature. In most undergraduate dissertations, the student often lags in logically structuring the literature. Therefore, after selecting and evaluating sources, you must brainstorm an effective outline to maintain logical follow-in information.

Making A Final Draft

The last step in a review of the related articles is drafting. Here, drafting does not only means writing all gathered information. But this is also the right time for providing the critical analysis. After critiquing source materials, proofreading and editing are the final steps before submission.    

In other words, good literature never summarises the source’s abstract. Rather, it demands an analysis, synthesis and evaluation of the facts and figures related to your work. It must be clear and coherent to appeal to readers. 

A review of related literature or literature review is a systematic process. At first, students think it is the most difficult task in academics, but following a step-by-step guide becomes easy. For that, you need to remain focused on literature search, evaluation and organisation of the information.