How To Write A Lit Review For A Dissertation

Increased ease of access to a wider range of published material has also increased the need for careful and clear critique of sources.

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It is important that your literature review is more than just a list of references with a short description of each one. Merriam (1988:6) describes the literature review as: Merriam’s statement was made in 1988, since which time there has been further extension of the concept of being ‘published’ within the academic context.

The term now encompasses a wide range of web-based sources, in addition to the more traditional books and print journals.

The ability to review, and to report on relevant literature is a key academic skill.

A literature review: To some extent, particularly with postgraduate research, the literature review can become a project in itself.

This will then provide you with a long reference list, and some evaluation of the references it contains.

No electronic literature search can be 100% comprehensive, as the match between search terms and the content of articles will never be perfect.

You can find the contact details for the Information Librarian for your own area via the Library web pages.

This person can help you identify relevant sources, and create effective electronic searches: anything on your research area is a good start. You may also want to make a clear decision about whether to start with a very narrow focus and work outwards, or to start wide before focussing in. It is a good idea to decide your strategy on this, rather than drifting into one or the other.

If you can find a few really useful sources, it can be a good idea to check through their reference lists to see the range of sources that they referred to.

This can be particularly useful if you find a review article that evaluates other literature in the field.

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