How to Write Literature Overview

The style of writing a literature review varies as per the type of assignment. Although, there are specific basic rules on how to write a literature review. We often see a literature review as a self-contained part of your assignment. It has a separate intro, body, and conclusion from the entire thesis. 

In different types of assignments, literature reviews have to be included. The purpose of a literature review is to analyze the entire paper critically. Also, provide an overview of the written sources of the topic you are given. By presenting a literature review, you provide an overview of the research and gaps in the previous sources.

A literature review can be different as per the type of assignment. There are specific fundamental components of a literature review that are present in all; those are-

  • A thorough description of the publication
  • Discussion on the gaps in previous research works
  • Summarization of the main points of the publication
  • Evaluation of the contribution of that publication to the topic

We present a guide that will help you to know how to write a literature review. It will help you to form the piece of text ideally.

What Are the Benefits of Writing a Literature Review?

A literature review is an integral part of every kind of research paper. Here are some of the incredible benefits of adding a literature review to your paper-

  • With a literature review, readers don’t need to look for multiple sources and get relevant information.
  • A literature review sets the stage for further work on the given topic. Literature reviews work well for providing the background and context of your research work.
  • A literature review also helps the writer to gain more knowledge of the topic from different sources and thus, prepares him to write the review and the entire research paper more appropriately. The writer becomes an expert on the topic while going through the steps of writing a literature review.

What Are the Structures of a Literature Review?

Before focusing on the steps to write a literature review perfectly, we thought of introducing you to the different structures of the piece of writing so that you get an idea of which one is perfect for your thesis-

  • Chronological: It is the most straightforward order to write a literature review where you should be careful of including lists of sources.
  • Thematic: If you can see any particular theme of your literature review, you can add subsections to the review to address the different contexts of the topic.
  • Methodological: If you gather information from different sources where various methods are used, you can compare those and get a contrasting result from applying a different approach.

What Is the Purpose of Writing a Literature Review?

Whether you are writing a dissertation, a thesis, or a research paper, you must include a literature review everywhere to exemplify your research based on previous work. A literature review can help you to-

  • Establish your understanding of the topic and the scholarly context
  • Develop the methodology and a theoretical framework for your research work
  • Find out how your research work addresses the gaps in the previous work and help to mend those
  • Give space to your work about existing theories and give options for debate
  • Evaluate the present position of the research and also show your knowledge of the scholarly debates as per your topic

How to Write Literature Review- Step-by-Step Guide

Now, it is time we should guide you about writing a literature review simply. Many of you often get tensed about how to form it, but if you know the proper guidelines, you don’t need to worry. There is always a starting point before the beginning. So, when you start writing a literature review, you must clearly understand the topic.

When writing a literature review for your dissertation paper, you should look for literature related to the questions and problems addressed by your paper. The next step should be listing the keywords. With the following steps, it will be easier for you to understand how to write a literature review-

1. Have a Thorough Idea of the Topic You Are Writing on

This is the first thing you must follow while writing a literature review. You must have an idea of the matter you are going to review so that your search methods become organic and fruitful. Thus, you can prepare a coherent summary for your thesis paper. Writing the literature review will be easier if you point down the research area, probable questions, and the topic on which your research is going on, and also write down the keywords that you are going to use in your topic later.

The next step is to find the previous work on your topic. Here, we recommend using your keywords extensively to find associating articles on the same topic. Always focus on scholarly and peer-reviewed articles as those are always considered to be the best source of scientific research. If needed, you can also take the help of published books. To keep the research works handy, you can download those and have a printed copy to you so you can go through them repeatedly. Concentrate on the articles’ abstracts, titles, etc., to strengthen your point of view.

3. Go through the Research Works and Take Notes

Don’t get confused about how to write a literature review. Instead, you need to focus more on your search results. Go through the information you have found and absorb those. While reading the books and articles on the topic, you should take notes of the essential points. Thus, you can get how to write the literature review more perfectly. This step of writing a literature review will be a bit time-consuming as the more you study deeply, the more knowledge and information you will get. But, that will only enrich your knowledge on the topic and help you to write the literature review.

4. Keep the Notes Handy and Create an Outline

You are pretty close to writing a literature review now. Make sure you have understood all your findings and the notes you have taken. Check out if there are any unresolved questions now. Also, look out for the difference in thoughts in different sources that you got. When satisfied with what you got, this is the time to outline the literature review. It would help if you decided how you are going to present it. Do you want to summarize it or want to use any organizational structure? Creating the outline will help you to get the answer to your questions, and you can proceed with your writing.

5. Start Writing the Literature Review

Now, when you have come across all the previous steps, it is time to start writing. When writing a literature review, you should remember that it should look like a summary emphasizing the prior research works without giving much detail. After you write the first draft, go through it more than once and, if required, edit it. You can always get a better view of your writing if you show it to someone and get their view and feedback.

6. Prepare the Introduction Part

It would help if you began with the introduction part, where you need to define the topic’s goal and provide the apt context for reviewing. Here, you should mention all the trendy works that have been published, including gaps in research works, problem areas of those, or any new perspective that is emerging. Then, you need to explain your reason and purpose for doing that literature review.

7. Focus on the Body Part

The body part of a literature review must contain the qualitative or quantitative approach to the topic, chronology, the study’s purpose, and a concluding part from the author.

8. Conclude It

In the end, add a conclusion that summarizes your intention and effort of writing the thesis from a new point of view and establish yours with a solid hold of knowledge you gather throughout the process.

Hopefully, you get a thorough idea of how to write a literature review perfectly. Following these steps will help you understand the importance of literature review for your thesis paper and guide you to write it appropriately.

To get help writing a literature review, you can get in touch constantly with professional writers. We are here to guide you on this matter and help you to prepare an entire thesis paper more professionally. 

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