Advice on Tackling a Literature Review

A tunnel of books

If you have to do a literature review for a dissertation or PhD, it’s a good idea to get some expert advice on how to approach it before you get started. We have picked out some of the best guidance both in the library and on the web:

1. If you prefer to have a print book to browse, we have lots of books in the library on doing a literature review that can give you a detailed overview of the whole process. Some of these are specific to undergraduate, postgraduate or business research.

2. For expert advice from an academic, the excellent Patter blog (which discusses research and academic writing) has discussed many aspects of doing a literature review: for example this post on scoping or trying out a questions approach. You can see a full range of posts here.

3. If you like interactive web resource, “The Final Chapter” is a learning object from Leeds University. See the “Doing a Literature Review” and click through the sections on the bottom of the screen.

4. Some universities have a wealth of detailed advice on their websites: try the pages from RMIT Australia or more detailed advice from Deluth (“Guidelines for writing a literature review“) or the University of Southern California.

5. This presentation by Professor Hazel Hall looks at Critical Reading skills for a literature review. The advice is aimed at PhD students but there are many useful issues covered for students at all levels.

6. The publisher Emerald also has pages on “how to carry out a literature review for a research paper or dissertation“. See the menu on the right for the different sections.



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