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5 Suggestionsfor Doing a Literature Review While Conducting Research

  • By Donna Santos
  • Published 04/26/2012
  • Copywriting

As any student knows, a literature review is the starting point for almost any article or essay. At the level of writing a thesis or dissertation, a review of literature is critical. However, when doing a literature review especially for dissertations usually students face this issue. You have already wasted months in this section but still lost in multiple subtopics of the subject of your interest. The main problem is that at the end of digging through a whack of literature, each sub topic leads you to a new direction. Can’t find any help to systematize your excessive data and organize your thoughts?Relax!! Follow 5 steps that will serve as literature review help to guide students in preparing that chapter. 1.Collect Only Relevant and Quality Data One of the basic problems faced while writing a dissertation literature review is that you find excessive data on your selected topic. Every topic has multiple subtopics, which are equally interesting, but they will take you to an entirely different path. The real job is to stick to the data that is relevant to your topic and avoid getting lost in the literature. Also make sure that the data you are collecting is peer-reviewed. Most universities give great importance to whether and to what extent your chapter references peer-reviewed work. Check the publishing houses before making reference of a particular point. 2.Take Notes or Do Referencing

You need to research allot. Read all the primary data available regarding your subject and make notes or jot down references. Make sure that you are reading and noting dow

n only the relevant stuff to your case in point.This is important because it will help you to re-sort easily what you have read and what is required to be stated. 3.Copy Down Main Ideas Sometimes you find information, which is very pertinent to your topic, but you need to further drill down in to the ideas presented.Be consistent as to, in what field you want to put your data in to.Attach your PDFs or cut and paste the significant portion of the work for further elaboration or research. 4.Sort Literature Into Groups and Make an Outline Sorting your literature in to groups is very crucial. It helps you a great deal in dealing with tons and tons of data that you have collected. Making endnotes sometimes also serves the purpose. You can also make an outline. The outline should be such that it guides you and provides you with a map as to how you should proceed with your literature review. 5.Make Heading and Sub-headings Making headings and subheadings help you to remain on track. While writing headings be sure that all the heading and subheadings relate to each other and make sense even when they are read out of context. 6.Identify Gaps and Unnecessary Repetitive Work Be certain that your work is not a constant repetition of what you have already explained. Try to bring out new ideas and relate it with your previously written work. Identify and correct any gaps present in your work. The aforementioned points will help you to select and organize your literature effectively,that will help you in doing literature review section in a logical and coherent way.

See Guidelines for doing literature review


I am a senior research writer.

by Donna Santos



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