Masters Studies

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Writing Up Your Masters Dissertation Literature Review

One of the most important chapters for a masters dissertation is the literature review. It is a main component of the dissertation format because it offers a way to reflect and illustrate what has already been covered in the available research while also arguing why your topic is valid because it lends new insights or fills in some of the known gaps. Therefore, the better presentation you can do with your literature review, the more likely your research study will gain credibility and be considered as a valuable contribution. This guide helps you with organising and writing your masters dissertation literature review.

What to Look for in the Literature to be Reviewed

It takes a lot of time to make sure you have all the literature that should be covered by searching libraries and databases for all the relevant publications, books, and articles. Then, it means reading everything that you have gathered and taking notes. From there, you then have to present all the research in a way that is palpable to readers and supports your research efforts and validates your research methodology.

It is important to remember that a masters dissertation is not used as place to simply summarise and report on each article or book you found. This is about critical thinking and has to explain the importance and/or issue with each research component that you have gathered. In that way, it is a review or an analysis project. When doing this, here are some questions to ask yourself that will help you write up the literature review for your masters dissertation:

  • What impact has the data and work had on the topic you are researching?
  • How is it valuable and how does it align with what you are doing?
  • Is the data credible or is it bias?
  • What's missing? Why?
  • How old is the data?
  • What do other sources say about a particular article or book?

Process of Undertaking a Masters Dissertation Literature Review

To get you started, look at compiling your literature review as a series of steps:

  • Select your theoretical concepts that should be the focus. These are often tied to your research aim and objectives and/or research questions.
  • Conduct your search for the data based on keyword searches on those theoretical concepts.
  • Read and evaluate based on the previous questions.
  • Begin to write about each theoretical concept by grouping the data you have found for each concept.

Formatting and Organising a Literature Review for a Masters Dissertation

Your literature review should have the following sections and structure, which will help organise your ideas and analysis:

  • An introduction section introduces the reader to the theoretical concepts that will be discussed in the literature review. Here you can also note how these concepts relate to your research aim and objectives.
  • Create sections for each theoretical concept. When writing these, remember to connect one section to the next in a logical fashion so the reader can understand why these have been put in such an order and how they relate to the overall intent of the masters dissertation.
  • A summary section should review the main points found in the literature review and then go on to set up the methodology section, which usually follows, by identifying the key gaps you have found in the available literature and tie this back to why this makes your research aim so credible.

Remember that you don't have to use our masters dissertation service for your entire project. You can order a literature review or annotated bibliography service.

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