Decent Tips on How to Write a Dissertation Literature Review

Decent Tips on How to Write a Dissertation Literature Review

If you have been to a university, you must have heard of literature review. Again, if you have written several academic papers, you must have encountered a literature review dissertation. While it is an easy task for some students, some always find it hard to bring out the best thesis literature review. Therefore, if you are almost writing your dissertation, you need to equip yourself with proven tips, as highlighted in this write-up. Keep reading for more insights.

Dissertation literature review: what does a lit review look like?

Before writing your dissertation, you must have a topic. Once you have the topic, you must understand the dimension of the topic, then start collecting materials to help you put the context together to bring out a meaningful paper.

Therefore, the literature review is a section that describes the collection of materials used on a given topic. These materials can be anything, i.e., textbooks, articles, government pamphlets, or any other useful resource to help in the research process.

So, writing a literature review in thesis has nothing to do with convincing the reader whether you liked the sources or not. It is all about stating the sources and their relevance to your writing by discussing published information related to a given subject.

While the whole concept of a literature review may sound like a summary of the sources, it has a specific pattern made up of synthesis and a summary.

The basic structure to follow when writing dissertation literature review

A phd literature review serves the same academic purposes as other related papers. Therefore, you must ensure your literature review has well-outlined sections as described below:

  • The introduction

Here, you simply explain the focus of the review in a few sentences, i.e., highlighting the topics you hope to cover in your paper.

Also, include the arguments you intend to present in your paper, as well as reasons why these arguments matter.

  • The main body

In the main body of your literature review, you simply discuss the sources you want to use. Make sure you organize the sources in chronological order to give your paper a professional and academic look.

But then, how many sources in a literature review should a student use?

The sources used in the literature review depend on the nature of the topic or assignment and the study level. For instance, complex assignments will generally require many sources. Similarly, graduate students will have to include sources between 20 and 40, while undergraduate students might need between 5 and 20 sources.

  • The conclusion

Finally, sum up your literature review by giving conclusions on what you have read in the sources. You can restate the gaps you intend to fill with your research based on the topic, then explain how the research will help fill the gaps.

Finalize the conclusion part by giving future recommendations through your analytical skills.

How to write literature review for dissertation: pro tips

  1. Explain the relevance of the sources

When highlighting your sources, do not leave them hanging on their own. Go an extra step and explain their influence and significance to your research and why you decided to use the sources in your literature review.

  1. Review other literature reviews

Before writing your lit review, check what other experts have done online, in books, and in any other relevant materials. This will give you more ideas on writing your literature review.

  1. Focus more on the key topics

The readers want to relate easily to your paper. Therefore, you can achieve this by covering the main topic ideas in your literature review.

  1. Use the required style

Make sure you read the assignment’s guidelines well and edit your literature review based on the referencing style approved by your tutor or the institute.

  1. Ask for help

Sometimes, you can get stuck, confused, and can’t figure out how to write the best literature review. Instead of wasting time, you can reach out to online services that offer professional help writing such a paper. You simply need to prove the credibility of the online services you choose to use.


Writing dissertation literature review isn’t a hard process, as some students may see it. With simple tips and guidelines provided in this piece, you can always bring out the best literature review.

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