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Literature Review-An Important Aspect Of Thesis Writing

Writing a literature review is an integral part of any research dissertation. It is an account of the published material by accredited researchers and scholars on a concerned topic. It is usually part of thesis writing or a research report.

A good literature review is a knowledge demonstrator. A good literature review not only presents the fact that the researcher is aware of the latest work being done in the area, but also the fact that he has an ability to critically analyze the works being done in the area of research. It should identify areas of controversy in the literature and formulate questions that need further research.


A good literature review also acts as a persuasive argument that the research is relevant to the area.

While writing a literature review, a researcher has to undertake four stages. These include problem evaluation where the topic being examined is discussed, the second stage of literature search where the process of information lookup is discussed, actual evaluation of data where the relevant portions of information are extracted from background information providing sources and finally interpretation and analysis of the data that has been found relevant to the topic under study.

Literature review shall also consist of categorical classification of the work like those for the hypothesis, those against the hypothesis and those suggesting an antithesis. The third component of thesis writing literature review is that where a relationship is drawn among different works as well as distinction is made among different works, which were referred.

The fourth component of literature review is that where the best pieces are chosen for their relevance to the issue.

During the assessment of each piece of literature that was referred during the research, the researcher should observe certain guidelines, which make a good literature review. First of all, a researcher should only include that material in his literature review which comes from credible authors, and which has been backed by a number of sources of independent research. The next point of consideration in thesis writing literature review is the objectivity of the author whose material was referred to. The researcher should not mention the material in his literature review, which has been prepared in ignorance of contradictory evidence. One more point of consideration while preparing a thesis writing literature review is that the researcher must assess the persuasiveness and contribution of the material referred.

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