A literature dissertation is written with an objective of scrutinizing topics, thought process and ideas already available of a topic and using them to come up with a new perspective on it. It should grab the reader’s interest and also dig deeper into the meaning of the subject. Dissertation literature review writing helps in presenting the writer’s view-of-point on the subject in a professional manner – diggin out evidences from the existing pieces of literature and finding support in what has already been published on the topic.
It is often noted that a lot of students subconsciously make errors while writing a literature review despite being aware of the instructions. It is crucial for a student to note that the basis of a good literature write-up is a dissertation topic on which he or she can present strong arguments. Hence, it is essential for the student to add a powerful thesis statement to the literature to add more weight to the matter. It is often believed that writing a literature review is similar to writing a description. This is a misconception; a literature review is a powerful argument that opens the subject to the reader.
In this article, we are going to discuss some of the most common errors students make while writing a literature review and how you can avoid them:
Not Presenting a Concise Background Information
It is often noticed that students miss out on giving the relevant background of the subject in the first place and end up writing a document which presents the topic as a generalized concept. Presenting the readers with a proper background (and mentioning the events that led to the study of the topic) can arouse the interest of the readers and make them read your dissertation carefully.
You should also keep in mind that the definitions you write are short and concise so that your audience can understand them easily.
Not Structuring or Organizing the Review Properly
This is a classic error that almost all the students do. The data that has been collated is never organized in a proper fashion. This leads to heavy editing or perhaps rewriting whole sections of the literature.
Ensure that you maintain a flow in your writing by marking the correct headings and subheading for the paragraphs. Doing so will enable the reader to establish a chain that will be easy to understand as the review is being read.
Not being Critical Enough
A review of literature should showcase clarity in the writer’s thoughts. You can only achieve it by being judgmental about your own work. It shows through your writing when you mention some hard-hitting critical points and then, criticize your argument in a fair manner. Just reiterating the facts that have already been published does not serve your purpose. Instead, you should try and push the boundaries and question the already existing facts. It opens up a new dimension in which your arguments are perceived.
Relying too much on Secondary Sources
Always remember to keep primary sources as your key element in constructing your literature. You can indeed use secondary sources for writing a review but use them to build your arguments – and not as their foundation stone.
Whenever you use a secondary source, ensure the legitimacy of the source as the view of the author can be biased on the subject which can imbalance your arguments on the matter.
Writing a Biased Review
Having a biased review is a natural progression. However, this natural progression reflects on the work that you wish to present. It can be very easy to showcase sources that agree with your thought process but it will make the review lopsided. Ensure that you showcase the pros and cons of the arguments that you place in the review.
Not Reading through Examples and Samples of Good Reviews
Most doctoral students end up writing a review without going through some existing approved dissertation examples. Going through an already approved and reviewed article will give you valuable insights on how the methodology should be presented. This will prove extremely beneficial in saving your time in terms of how you should conduct a strategic research, rather than randomly scavenging for data.
Please ensure that you follow this advice or else you may need to rework on your draft. Your mentor might request you to look at the presentation of existing reviewed articles which could have been avoided in the first place if you had already reviewed those sample pieces of literature.