Writing A Literature Review: The Perfect Way To Start Your Research

A literature review demonstrates knowledge and understanding of available material on a specific topic while combining a new interpretation with the older one. It also analyses the intellectual progression of the field, including identifying areas of controversy and contested claims. A literature review may highlight any gaps that exist in research to date, which is why it can aslo be asses as a standalone piece of work. It helps to refine the topic and develop the research question. It increases your familiarity with a particular field of research before performing actual research.

Writing a literature review for your dissertation and thesis takes time and effort. Your literature review defines the scope and base of your study. You conduct your study after identifying a potential social problem, and the literature review is the one that helps you achieve so. But the question is, how can you write an effective literature review? If your literature review could be better, how would it affect your study?

Additionally, we have highlighted the importance of a literature review and essential guidelines for writing a literature review. So, stay tuned if you wish to know those little tips.

What is a literature review?

A literature review is a scholarly survey of the literature for your study. You do it to determine whether the topic you have selected for your research entails appropriate data to support your study. You can choose a topic that addresses the social or economic issue through a literature review.

The literature review itself is a whole research process. You determine the related information of your research topic and summarise it in the form of a comprehensive study. A literature review helps you determine your topic’s future scope and studies.

In academic writing, writing a literature review is the utmost priority of research students when they must submit their research proposal. A literature review helps them to identify their independent study, which they can use to cover a social issue.

Are there any types of literature reviews?

Yes, there are four different types of literature reviews. A student must determine which type of review to adopt based on their study criteria and demand. These types include:

  1. Traditional or narrative literature reviews: It is an objective, critical and comprehensive analysis of past conducted studies. It helps to design a theoretical framework and purpose for your research study.
  2. Cochrane literature review: It uses information related to Cochrane and non-Cochrane reviews by comparing the risk of bias from datasets obtained from various databases.
  3. Systematic literature review: This review helps to determine the answer to the well-formulated problem statement. You must follow a defined set of criteria before conducting this review.
  4. Scoping literature review: As the name indicates, it determines the scope, nature, and extent of your research study.

There are five key points of writing the literature mentioned above reviews as they all follow the same pattern:

  • Search for past related studies
  • Evaluate your sources efficiently,
  • Identify gaps, themes, and debates,
  • Outline the sketch of your literature,
    • Introduction
    • Main body
    • Conclusion
  • Write your review.

Steps for writing a literature review flawlessly:

Everyone can write an efficient literature review if they understand the concept associated with it and its purpose. When you know for what purpose you are writing a literature review, you will only be able to grab your reader’s attention by writing it effectively. The following steps will help you write your literature review perfectly.

Select your research topic and identify the target audience:

People often need clarification when choosing an appropriate topic for a literature review. They need help choosing the best topic for their research. However, you need not worry at all. Choose the topic which covers the following aspects:

  • Your field of interest
  • Address any social, economic, or scientific issue
  • An essential prospect in your field
  • You must choose a topic based on your target audience.

Conduct a thorough survey/study:

After choosing the desired topic, start searching for related data and information. Keep in mind the following factors while looking for literature:

  • Use an appropriate and trustworthy source like Google Scholar
  • Keep track of your progress
  • Manage your reference library
  • Define beforehand the inclusion and exclusion criteria of your study

Keep in mind the following aspects while writing a literature review:

  • Explain the methodology, research approach, limitations, and conclusions of previous studies
  • Identify a gap by discussing a new angle of your study not addressed in previous studies
  • Addition of new relevant materials, book chapters, journals, and authors
  • Use of different databases and keywords while conducting a literature survey

We understand that you require a lot of background data to create the base of your research studies. Sometimes, you are stuck at a certain point and unable to make a perfect connection to support your argument. Then, you need expert advice and suggestions to help you provide accurate past data. In this situation, where there is no one to support you, conduct a little research and find an authentic dissertation writing service that can save you time and energy.

Highlight important points:

While reading literature, you will learn what materials are relevant to your study and what are irrelevant. Take notes of those materials. Highlight those essential aspects and keep track of it. You can use these aspects to justify your findings.

Choose the type of review you wish to conduct:

The most important thing to consider while writing a literature review is determining the approach you wish to use in your study. Whether you want to conduct research (in-vitro) or gather information from online databases (in-silico research), make up your mind carefully and then opt for the type of literature review. This will make you clear in your stance.

Be focused, consistent, and critical and target a broader scope:

One of the main things you should remember in your literature writing is to be consistent with your content. Your content should be seamless throughout the study. Never once should your readers feel like you are doing it half-heartedly. Critically analyse your topic’s scope, theme, and demand and mention it clearly and effectively. When you have effectively mentioned the scope of the study, you will be able to target a broader audience.

Categorise the proper structure:

You should properly categorise and organise your literature review. A literature review has its introduction, main body, and conclusion. Write your literature review keeping it in mind. Remember to categorise your resources in the following way:

  • Chronologically
  • Thematically
  • Methodologically
  • Theoretically or philosophically

Prefer adding up-to-date information:

A literature review is a survey of previously conducted studies, but it is also limited. You should not use sources less than ten years old but add recent studies to stay relevant. Therefore, avoid using data less than ten years old and identify a gap in your study using literature of the past decade.


Writing a literature review demands being focused and critical in your survey. Be sure to follow all the aspects and criteria and identify a gap in your study. Many students need help to write an efficient review for their literature but rest assured, following the guidelines mentioned above can help you achieve it.

Read: A Complete Guide To Writing a Literature Review

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