Master thesis structure literature review

Sample literature review for research paper

The scope of your review will depend on your topic and discipline: in the sciences you usually only review recent literature, but in the humanities you might take a long historical perspective for example, to trace how a concept has changed in meaning over time. During the second stage of your reading, you can then take a more critical, in-depth look at your sources. How do you write a dissertation literature review? Discuss what makes an opening paragraph successful or not. Identify sources To write a good dissertation literature review, you need to have a fair idea of what sources you would like to review. Ensure that you reference your work correctly And make sure you use the appropriate referencing style. How might your research add to this understanding, or challenge existing theories and beliefs? What is a literature review? Having a lot of literature to report on can feel overwhelming. This may be partly due to the challenge of selecting appropriate evaluation criteria and data collection methods. You could include a short methodology section that details the approach you used in selecting and analysing your sources. Beierle, ; Renn et al. Most importantly, a research question is something that can be answered.

You might argue for the relevance of a specific theoretical approach, or combine various theoretical concepts to create a framework for your research. Plagiarism Plagiarism is regarded as a serious offence by all Universities, and you need to make sure that you do not, even accidentally, commit plagiarism.

Remember that there are hundreds — or in some instances, thousands — of sources or perspectives concerning any subject area or topic. Note how skilfully, in the earlier sample paragraph by Reedhe weaves his opinions with references.

In other words, you have a choice of either reducing the complexity of your data or expanding upon something that initially looks simple. Placing your thesis in perspective In the final section you should place your work in a wider, academic perspective and determine any unresolved questions.

Feel free to pose partially open questions that allow discussions of the overall theme, e.

Literature review structure template

This helps you remember what you read and saves time later in the process. They will ask questions such as: What research question s are you asking? Keeping a record Keeping a record of your search strategy is useful, to prevent you duplicating effort by doing the same search twice, or missing out a significant and relevant sector of literature because you think you have already done that search. Reference tools such as Mendeley allow you to store your sources online and via a desktop app, and are a great way to keep your bibliography organised. Can you generalise? The US National Park system became the dominant paradigm for analyzing relations between conservation, nationhood and nationalism. Which options became available through your chosen approach? Introduction define your topic and provide an appropriate context for reviewing the literature; establish your reasons — i. Sometimes Results and Discussion are combined: check with your supervisor and with highly rated past theses in your School. Writing it up The task of shaping a logical and effective report of a literature review is undeniably challenging. The example combines the thematic and chronological approaches. Nevertheless, there are some essential steps that apply across all disciplines and that you should ensure you follow: Do not simply describe the opinions of writers Analyse, analyse, analyse, and ensure that your analysis is critical what have the writers missed; where does your opinion sit with theirs, etc. But it is also important to have read enough theory to know what to look for when collecting data. Is there a scholar that agrees with your view?

It may also focus on historical considerations. Increasingly, examiners at post-graduate level are looking for the detail of how you chose which evidence you decided to refer to.

A narrative thread Although you clearly need to write in an academic style, it can be helpful to imagine that you are telling a story. If the same authors, books or articles keep appearing in your reading, make sure to seek them out.

how to write literature review for thesis
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How to Write a Literature Review