How to Write a Masters Dissertation Literature Review

One of the most important chapters in a masters dissertation is the masters dissertation literature review. The results from this chapter help you determine what type of research you need to undertake to fill in the gaps found in the current body of work on a particular topic.

Here’s our guide on how to undertake a masters dissertation literature review on your own. Of course, we want to let you know that our team of masters dissertation writers can also help by providing anything from an annotated bibliography list and a list of sources to a model answer chapter for the masters dissertation literature review.

Getting Started on your Masters Dissertation Literature Review

This is one of the most time-consuming aspects of writing a masters dissertation because you need to exhaust all source channels to find all the data you can to review. This can include offline and online sources like research journals, trade journals, magazines, industry reports, books and online publications and articles.

Once you gather this data, you are not being asked to simply summarise the information you found like you might do in a book or magazine review. The analysis must go far deeper and involves some critical thinking. A masters dissertation literature review demands that you dissect the data and critically assess what the researchers behind that data have done.

  • Were they bias?
  • What impact has the data and work had on the topic? How has it contributed to the body of work?
  • Is the data credible?
  • What are the similar and contrasting opinions?
  • What’s missing? Why?

Stages of the Masters Dissertation Literature Review

To make the process easier on you, think of the stages that you can undertake to complete the literature review:

  • Determine the fields and theoretical concepts you need to research.
  • Search for the literature on those concepts and find all relevant data.
  • Evaluate the data by using some of the aforementioned questions.
  • Analyse and interpret your findings by creating headings and subheadings that address each concept that you researched, read about, and critiqued.

Key Elements of the Masters Dissertation Literature Review

When you are writing, remember these key elements that should be included:

  • An overview on the concepts you will include, which is usually done as an introductory section to the chapter.
  • Headings and subheadings that illustrate to the reader each concept are being covered. Each section will review the literature, critique it, and compare it.
  • A conclusions and summary section that ties all the concepts and literature reviewed together, which also is a good place to note the identifiable gaps in the literature. This will help transition to the next chapter, which is usually the research methodology chapter of your masters dissertation.

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