Write my literature review: How to write a literature review

How do I write my literature review? The literature review is likely to be the first major task in completing either your masters dissertation or PhD thesis.

Assuming you already have your topic and research question the first task is to decide what type of literature review. The literature review is likely to be the first major task in completing either your masters dissertation or PhD thesis.

Main types of literature review

  1. Scoping review

Preliminary assessment of potential size and scope of available research literature. Aims to identify nature and extent of research evidence. This type is suitable for dissertation/ theses proposals. Sometimes referred to as a preliminary study.

2. Overview

Similar to the scoping review but more expanded. A summary of the literature that attempts to survey the literature and describe its characteristics. More descriptive and less critical. Analysis may be chronological, conceptual, thematic, etc. This type of review is sometimes referred to as a ‘traditional’ literature review.

3. Critical review

A critical review aims to demonstrate that the writer has extensively researched the literature and critically evaluated its quality. It goes beyond mere description of identified articles and includes a degree of analysis and conceptual innovation. An effective critical review presents, analyses and synthesizes material from diverse sources. Often the end result of a critical review is a hypothesis or model.

4. Meta analysis

A review technique that statistically combines the results of quantitative studies to provide a more precise effect of the results. Likely to require specialist statistical analysis.

5. Systematic review

A review that is systematic is one in which the literature search is undertaken using tightly defined parameters including date ranges, keywords, geographic, language etc. Systematic reviews aim to find as much as possible of the research relevant to the particular research question.

OK but which tenses should I use in the literature review? Find out here ….

Remember – new research is continuously being published and as you delve deeper into your research topic, you should be prepared to add and update your literature review. See it as a work in progress throughout the length of the entire research project.

Still asking,  How do I write my literature review?’ If you need help with your literature review then contact me today and we can discuss your needs.