7 Easy Steps for Writing a Literature Review

Have you ever wondered what the process of writing the literature review for your dissertation is, which topics it includes, and how to write a decent one? This text summarizes the content of primary documents on a specific topic that appeared over a certain period.

The literature review introduces the scientific problem’s current state and reveals trends and prospects for the development of the relevant branches of science. Reviews contain systematized scientific data of a particular area obtained from the analysis of research papers.

The features of the literature review are:

●     Impartiality,

●     Completeness of each presented object,

●     The width of the covered field,

●     An academic tone of voice in vocabulary and syntax.

Check these tips on how to write a relevant literature review.

1. Familiarize yourself with your assignment

It is especially important to understand the assignment before getting to work. To create a better one, you should know what exactly they are. A literature review is not the same as bibliographies. The last one stands for a list of resources that discover a particular area. And a literature review is more than just an enumeration of the sources. There should be a summary and critical evaluation of those sources.

They are not subjective – when writing literature reviews, avoid claims. Instead, they brief and critically evaluate the scientific literature from a relatively objective perspective. Literature review writing requires careful evaluation of the quality and results of each source discussed.

2. How to plan research approach

Begin working on the literature review process in advance. First, start your literature research process. Then draw up the order in which the literary sources should be presented. If you have just begun and feel like this section of work seems too complicated, do your literature review with the help of specialists. Students who use such a service are more productive with the main part of studying.

You can also pick the chronological principle as a basis. Then build an introduction to the history of the question in chronological order. Try to cover all the views that were put into a discussion on the problem you are researching. Then proceed to how they have been developing.

3. Keep the records

You don’t just need to collect sources and summarize what they say. It is necessary to understand what themes and ideas connect the sources. Think of these books as a group of friends arguing about the same thing. What do they all assume? What do they have in common, and how are they different? Read between the lines. It is not necessary to look for hidden content. Is there any aspect that is missing? Do all your sources adhere to one particular theory? Do you see a trend emerging? The answers to these questions will help you structure your research, indicating the purpose of your work.

After studying each project, create a short synopsis in which you will outline the content of what the author was trying to tell. You can have a special journal where you will add quotes necessary for your work while studying literature. This way, it will be easier to make connections.

You can formulate your statement now that you’ve identified your supreme idea. You might have thought that literature reviews didn’t have statements. It is partly true and false: they have theses but are completely different. A thesis statement does not necessarily argue for any position or opinion, but rather, on the contrary, it advocates a particular point of view regarding the material.

4. How to evaluate the sources

One of the most challenging parts of this writing process is not a literature search because there is a high chance there are plenty, but an evaluation of decent sources you can actually use. Try to find a related article or paper to find the right approach. There may be some good materials in the library but pay attention if they are not too outdated.

5. Find the gaps and offer your point

In order to conduct a research paper, the scientist will first read review articles to understand what is lacking in current research in this area and determine the issues. Reviewing material reveals novelty and contribution to the field of study. This requires an understanding of the topic.

Choose a theme with limited scope. The world of science is vast, and if you choose a broad theme, the whole work will seem endless. The best you can do is to pick an area of research that can be adjusted during the process. If you see thousands of results when you search the database, you may need to refine your topic.

6. Organizing the literature review’s structure

As you go through the literature, watch for any patterns or trends in your sources. You may spot two different schools of thought that expressed points of view that may be useful to your question. Or some general ideas about your research question have changed several times over the past years. The layout of your literature review will be based on the practices you identify. Choose the organizational structure that best fits your topic if there are no clear directions.

7. Put everything together

Analyze the works of predecessors. For some fields of study, it is the key to success. Go for the vulnerable points in their writings. Identify which issues stayed unaddressed, as well as indicate the reasons why the authors did not consider one or the other side of the issue in their article. You can also criticize the style of the paper. After this, you can begin understanding the place of your research within the studied area.

Briefly describe the scientific tasks that the researchers set themselves. Take your time to explain your vision to the questions. State the explanations why you decided to continue researching this topic. After all these points, you will be able to formulate your tasks and describe ways to make them in the following parts of your scientific work.


These 7 steps should help to write your literature review quickly and without suffering. Organize yourself to dive into the writing, and you will not notice how you graduate with a perfect dissertation.