In-Study Writing

Admission essay writing and analysis essay

Guide to Write a Dissertation Literature Review Structure

Understanding the Literature Review Structure

There is a common misconception that the literature review begins with a citation list. However, it is considered a summary of the sources and knowledge in the field. A literature review will contain three sections; the introduction, the main body, and a conclusion.

Creation of a Dissertation Literature Review

The structure for a literature review should complement the introduction to show its purpose. It will contain information provided by the original sources, the information gaps, and the relevance of the study. Therefore, when writing this section, there are a few tips that must be adhered to. 

  • Ensure that you start with a point that makes your review stand out. Many readers have the same problem you will when drafting the review. This means that they will begin reading with the topic while getting bored after a couple of paragraphs. Therefore, ensure that you introduce the topic and work on making it interesting by raising questions. This is another area that other writers go over in tips discussed above. 
  • Make sure to include all the sources of information you have and provide comparisons. This shows your reader that you have read through all the published sources and acquired useful information from them.
  • Place the author’s details within parenthesis to indicate their significance. This shows the relation between the sources you have used and use in the discussion.
  • Ensure that you give credit where you have paid for the work of another author. This shows that you are taking your information from a legitimate source. The proper way of writing this section is through the use of brackets where necessary.
  • Substitute any punctuation marks you have used when writing down the sources. Besides the use of commas, you will also need to put commas between each sentence in the literature review. This will be very important as it will help separate the information.
  • Use of photos in your literature review would help increase the appeal of the whole document. Here, the accompanying title should be the full source.

Formulating the Literature Review

The questions you raise throughout the literature review should be directed at the target audience, i.e., an examiner or a professor reading the dissertation. There are various approaches you can use in the literature review to make it work better. These include: 

  1. Create questions that inform the reader what the study is looking to answer. 
  2. Create ways that might lead to findings. These will not only help the reader understand the research, but they will also lead to doing the study.
  3. Point out the reasons the author settled for the particular study style, i.e., qualitative or quantitative. The information will help the reader see the context of the topic and help them decide if they feel it is a valid method of research.

The literature review should be completed and summarized in the dissertation in the last stages. This is one of the most crucial parts that will make or break the paper. Therefore, it is best to avoid going around searching for the appropriate sources. Besides, it is better to ensure that you are familiar with the recommended structure for composing literature reviews and will use them in your dissertation.


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