How to write a literature review: help writing a literature review
I spend a good deal of my time writing literature reviews for my dissertation and PhD clients who decide they need help writing a literature review. Here are 16 useful tips for writing a great literature review. Use it as a kind of checklist. The tips are divided into three sections; selection of sources, critical evaluation and interpretation.
On the selection of sources:-
1. Have you indicated the purpose of the review?
2. Are the parameters of the review reasonable?
3. Why did you include some of the literature and exclude others?
4. Which years did you exclude?
5. Have you emphasised recent developments?
6. Have you focused on primary sources with only selective use of secondary sources?
7. Is the literature you have selected relevant?
8. Is your bibliographic data complete?
On critical evaluation:-
9. Have you organised your material according to issues?
10. Is there a logic to the way you organised the material?
11. Does the amount of detail included on an issue relate to its importance?
12. Have you been sufficiently critical of design and methodological issues?
13. Have you indicated when results were conflicting or inconclusive and discussed possible reasons?
14. Have you indicated the relevance of each reference to your research?
15. Has your summary of the current literature contributed to the reader’s understanding of the problems?
16. Does the design of your research reflect the methodological implications of the literature review?
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