A Checklist on How to Write the Review of Literature in a Dissertation
At first glance it would seem that writing a review of literature is a simple and straightforward task. In most cases the teacher or professor will announce the work of literature you are to review, give you instructions such as number of words and format in which the dissertation is to be presented, and then expect you to deliver said document on time.
All of the above is true except it is not the whole truth. There is a number of aspects of the review writing you need to master. The following questions make up a checklist for your writing. They must be adhered to.
- What have other writers written about this same piece of literature?
- What have critics said about this piece of literature?
- Are there any gaps in the research on this particular work?
- What is the aspect of the piece of literature you are writing a commentary upon?
- What methodology have you used in writing your review?
As you can see from the questions above there is a lot more to writing a review of literature than a simple this is what it's about. You need to find a topic or an angle to the approach you are taking. You need to know what other writers and reviewers have said about this piece of literature. You need to know where your commentary fits in with a range of other commentators.
It would be seriously good for your chances of an outstanding mark if you are able to point out where there are gaps in reviews of this work of literature. Just as it’s good to see the alternative point of view in writing an argumentative essay, here it is extremely valuable to discover an angle of review which other writers have never mentioned. This demonstrates the breadth of your research and reading and augurs well for high praise indeed from your examiner or teacher.
You will have a method of tackling the review and it is important that you can explain this in your dissertation. Having an opinion is essential. Being able to substantiate your opinion is equally vitally important.
It goes without saying that being familiar with the piece of literature is the foundation for you writing a successful literary review. Several readings of the work can prove highly beneficial. Even an audio book version will deliver ideas and thoughts for your writing when the time comes.