How to Write Literature Review

Our team is here to lay all your literature review problems to rest, by the end of this article you should be in a position to confidently face your literature review at coming up with something worth submitting to your lecturer for assessment. We've simplified the whole process on how to write literature review for research paper; you wouldn't have to struggle to comprehend any information.

To begin with, let's first define literature reviews. We bet you've heard of this academic writing. It's quite common in the post and undergraduate setup. It's featured as part of assignments or in some instances used by postgraduates as a dissertation paper to defend their proposal for their upcoming researches.

What is a Literature Review?

This is an overview analysis of given literature publications in your field of study. You ought to come up with a summary and evaluation of various publications, and this is all done with a specified period. Based on the presenting circumstances, if your readers are less informed on the subject in question as compared to you, then your role is to guide and give instructions. On the contrary, if your readers are more informed than you are, then you'll be required to go an extra mile and convince them by demonstrating your intelligence and expertise on the topic; this one is more demanding as compared to the first. How to write literature review for research paper requires you to address the following;

  • Match an individual's original work with the existing literature on the same
  • Come up with solutions to some of the current conflicts and contradicting theories and ideas- bring order out of chaos
  • Interpretation and expounding on some of the critical themes around the central topic
  • Mention the ties and connections between each of the information sources you come across in correspondence with the topic
  • Revolutionize and come up with better and effective ways of interpretation and comprehension of available information through highlight the missing gaps and shortcomings of before works
  • Mention and give recommendations on how best to go on and conduct more research on the topic
  • Bring out the relationship between the literature to be reviewed and the topic in question; what's their connection?

How to Write Literature Review

Having defined what literature review is; you now have a rough idea of what you're dealing with. Let's get you a better understanding of literature reviews by showing you the guide on how to write literature review for thesis to get you in action.

You need to appreciate the structure of literature review and what's to be included is quite essential. On how to write literature review for thesis there ought to be a sensible and excellent flow of ideas in the text.

Here is how the literature review structure should look like;

  • The Introductory Paragraph

This is the welcoming section of the literature review, and you need to give it your best and nothing short of that. How you begin composing your work could even determine the attitude the instructor will develop towards your paper.

How to write literature review for dissertation introduction, we'll mean you start by mentioning and highlighting the main focus and goal of the literature review paper. What's the whole literature review text going to focus on? Here the writer is required to tell the readers the projects that have so far been worked on the topic while at the same time highlighting some of the conflicting and contradicting ideas that might have come up along the research process. What have other researchers come up with based on the topic in question?

In addition to you, there are other individuals before you who've done research projects on the same subject. Take writing space in the introduction on how to write literature review article to mention and highlight important aspects of their research is something you should consider doing. You're doing all this to give your audience some background details on the literature to help them comprehend the basis of your research and why you chose to focus on that topic.

To add more to it, how to write literature review article stand-alone paper, you'll be expected to come up with a working statement that will summarize and give an evaluation of the current state of affairs in the society and match the relations, however, for the dissertation literature review that is preparatory for the thesis or research work. How to write literature review for dissertation introduction requires a writer to expound more on reasons as to why the findings from the research will prove helpful in making strong arguments and lengthy discussions for your paper.

  • The Body Paragraphs

As it's common among many other academic writings in addition to literature reviews, how to write literature review assignment body involves subdividing the body it into categories of headings and subheadings and each tackling an idea at a time. The overall purpose of the literature review body is to expound on the current state of the project. You've gone an extra mile and have done your research, what's the current knowledge on the topic? This should help with driving the goal of the literature review text. Out there you'll come across trending information and theories on the literature topic in question; make good use of the trending news and mention them here in the literature review body section as more people will be more interested with what's trending than what is not.

Besides this approach on how to write literature review assignment, you could as well look at the different ideas, strengths, and weaknesses that other researchers are discussing based on the subject. You could either offer a way out or disagree with them as long as at the end of the day you manage to defend your own opinion. Such an angle of approach will give your text a broader view and chances are it will turn out strong for you'll be inviting other writers into your discussion leave alone creating strong arguments.

Based on how to write literature review example for the dissertation paper, you'll be expected to stay argumentative. Formulate arguments for purposes of justification, remember the research idea you earlier on made in your research proposal; this take could help with defending the proposal for your purported research. Of note, the literature review dissertation paper will be specific to the intended research and information you give ought to be directive.

  • Concluding Paragraph

The process has been long and tiring, and now it's time to conclude your paper. How best can you sum up the literature review? Let's give you a better way through this. Having touched on a brief coverage on the topic in the introduction section, moved to the body paragraph and expounded on the research findings and data analysis, now finish it all with a definite conclusion. The overall purpose of a literature review conclusion is to formulate a general summary of the presenting information and its importance. For the dissertation literature review where you are supposed to give a rough idea on the topic in order introduce your intended research for approval, the conclusion will purpose to take note of the shortcomings involved in works of recent past that formed the basis of your research methodology. On the other hand, for the stand-alone work, how to write literature review example conclusion will involve you formulating relevant applications of the research while at the same time going ahead to mention what future subsequent researches need to work on.

This is just the basic structure on how to write literature review. You might be wondering what happens with the stand-alone and dissertation type of literature review. Well, they all use the same structure of introduction, the body then conclusion except that the content what's different among the two.

Quick Tips

How Credible Are Your Sources?

Some assignments come with instructions on where you could gather your resources from, while others mention the ideal areas you could as well focus on. All in all, at the moment several research sourcing options are based on the timeline. As a writer, settling for the most current and trending sources could get you the most recent and credible sources on the topic, which is most advisable. For instance, researches in social science are not that time sensitive, but when it comes to the medical front, you're required to go for up-to-date information. Research disciplines like that of history and humanities you'll notice a minimal change in the available sources of information despite the shifting periods; however, there's a catch- the perspective tends to change over time. This means you'll be expected to analyze the existing information while at the same time taking note of the shifts in research perspectives that have so far been realized. To get a more in-depth view on this read some of the publications on how to write literature review for research paper information sourcing.

Seek for Clarifications

You might find yourself in a challenging situation where you don't understand well what's going on. And at this point, you'll realize you need help. Don't be shy to accept your situation and seek for working solutions to your current state. It could be a small issue, and you're making a big deal out of it. Seek guidance from your lecturer, seniors with a better understanding of the topic or your colleagues who've understood the instructions thoroughly. Clarifications on how to write literature review article can be done by checking out the following aspects;

  • How many reference sources to be captured in the text?
  • Which type of sources to use for your research
  • What's the approach to the sources? It's either the writer is supposed to formulate arguments or just critic the literature

Choosing Information

Settle for the strong data and avoid too much information for it will give more room for scrutiny. Some topics can be comprehensive, but this shouldn't be a guarantee for you to throw in all the information you can collect. How you present the data, you gather greatly determines the outcome of the paper. Therefore, going for a chronological, thematic or methodological be sure to give it your best and be keen on the formats used for either.

Revise, Revise, Revise

After coming up with the literature review draft having mentioned and touched on the various areas of what's expected, the good idea is to proofread your work. In the beginning, there were instructions on how you ought to compose your literature review that came with assignment guidelines on what you're expected to stick to. Looking at this, are you on the right path? If you are, good for you, if you aren't, it's about time you do something about it. An excellent way to prove this is to do a thorough revision of your paper. Revision helps correct some of the unnecessary mistakes you might have made along the writing process. This could be grammar mistakes, and so on. Remember, you ought to do this before composing the final paper for submission. Be time conscious.

Make notes as you do your research and write. Have a pen and paper with you; some writers prefer using sticky notes. During the research process, be sure to take down notes as you draft your literature review. These notes are to be incorporated into the paper as you write. The information sources and citations are not to be left out. Be on the lookout for plagiarism. Duplicating information is a sign of laziness not taken kindly by most instructors, and it might significantly cost your overall grades. A good practice is to come up an annotated bibliography to compile all the collected data.


Whenever you're writing a literature review ensure that your ideas stay at the center of your writing, while at the same time your work ought to be incorporated in what was before. This is done to bring out the relevance and significance of the topic based on the trends in research. Stay sensible and ensure a logical flow of ideas.

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