The first stage of your literature review is to collect a list of literature that is relevant to your study. Once you have a list of references for your dissertation, you now have to access and read this material. This is time consuming because you will be reading a large amount of material.
Once you start you might find that some literature is of little relevance to your study. This is something that many researchers and dissertation students go through and is often a necessary part of the process. It is better to read something that is not central to your dissertation than miss something that might be an important and relevant contribution to the field.
Make notes about the central themes and arguments of the book, chapter or article. These notes can then be incorporated into the finished version of your literature review.
Try and get a sense of the theoretical perspective of the author, this will be of use when you organise and present your literature review. Also, emphasise the way in which the piece of literature you are reading seeks to set itself apart from other literature.
Importantly, start to think critically about the piece you are reading; ask: How is it different from the way others have dealt with this issue? This critical component is very important as it demonstrates that you are engaging with relevant literature in an appropriate manner and that you can discriminate between different perspectives and approaches that exist within your chosen field. Once you have generated a large number of notes around your reading you might start to feel overwhelmed by the literature.
In terms of the organisation and presentation of your literature review, it is worth dividing your review into two main areas: You will also need to further divide the literature into specific areas relevant to your study for e.
What follows are some general guidelines on how you might do this. It will be clear that some of the reading you have done is of more relevance than others. It is important, however, that you do not discard the less relevant work; instead this can form the broad background of your discussion of the more relevant literature within your field. For example you may mention different authors that have dealt with a question related to your field but may not be central to it. Highlight these in broad terms, state how these works have impacted on your particular area.
You need not go into great detail about these more general works, but by highlighting these works you are demonstrating your awareness of the scope and limits of your study and how it touches upon other areas of study. Once you have discussed the range of literature that is only of general interest to your study, you can then go into more detail on the literature that more sharply focuses on the questions that are of interest to you.
Devote more detail to these particular works as they are more important to your topic. Indeed they may highlight the gap in the literature that exists that you seek to fill; they may provide the basis on which you seek to build, or they might be works which require some critique from your particular perspective.
When you have divided your literature review into general works and works of central importance, you should also further divide the literature into sub-categories. By further dividing your literature in this way, you are adding more organisation into your literature review by providing specific sub-categories of relevant literature.
For example in the general works section of your literature review, you might want one sub-heading on the main theoretical debates, one on empirical studies and maybe one on policy. With reference to the more central literature, you could organise this more important reading in a similar way.
For example, if relevant, you could have a section on competing theoretical perspectives; a section on the main findings of important empirical studies; a section on policy implementation and its impacts. See the table below. Detailed analysis of theoretical and conceptual debates Discussion of main findings of important empirical studies and their critiques Focused analysis of policy implementation. If appropriate you might also want to divide your sub-headings further.
One final note on the more central literature is that this more focused analysis can also serve to bring your empirical or theoretical work into sharper focus. In this sense you are prefacing your work and how it relates to other academic studies by your discussion of it in your literature review.
One thing to remember however is that just because you talk about an author's work in your literature review, doesn't mean you never mention it again in your dissertation. In the discussion section of your study you will necessarily relate your findings to those central studies that you have highlighted in your literature review. When you have written your literature review, this is not the end of the process. Throughout your dissertation process, you will come across literature that is of relevance to your area of study, do not ignore this material, you can always add more literature to your review as you come across it.
Finally, make sure that you keep a record of all your references, even the ones that have been of little use. This will help you organise your bibliography and reference list.
You may even need to go back and look over something that you looked at earlier in your studies that may have more relevance than you first thought. This must clearly identify the epistemological i. It should include good coverage of the process of the fieldwork and indicate how the analysis was undertaken. As well as covering the ethical issues it should also contain an element of reflection on the research process.
Many students confuse findings with discussion and it is important to keep them separate. The findings are often presented in charts and tables even from qualitative data. Verbatim references to participants' comments are particularly helpful. It is important to ensure that findings are truly analysed, rather than described. Finding ways of cross relating the findings is therefore important.
Traditionally, the discussion links findings to the literature presented in the literature review. There are arguments for extending the coverage of literature in this section but only in exceptional circumstances. The discussion should be precisely that: The main chapters of your dissertation will have focused on particular topics or issues. For example, each chapter may have focused discussion on a particular text.
Alternatively, you may have structured your work so that each chapter is devoted to discussion of a particular aspect of your overall topic. The conclusion offers the opportunity to review your work as a whole, to identify the points of comparison and contrast the various texts you have examined, and to show that, in the process of your study, you have developed a more precise, critical understanding of the way they deal with your topic.
This is also an appropriate place for you to point to the limitations of small-scale research of this kind and to indicate possible avenues for researchers to address the issues in the future. The process of preparing your dissertation for submission begins with a careful final drafting of all your chapters and sections. Here you have the opportunity:.
You need to check that your quotations from and references to both primary and secondary texts are clearly and consistently identified according to the conventions of the HARVARD referencing systems or whatever system your department requires. There is more about this in the section on Plagiarism. You will check that your bibliography is properly presented and contains all sources cited throughout your work.
You should refer to the guidance provided by your own department, but in general you should think about the following:. The completed dissertation should be submitted in the form set out by your department. If there are no formal styles, submit the dissertation in a format that makes it easy for the examiner to handle - avoid complicated spring-back or ring-backed files. Doing a Literature Review: Releasing the Social Science Imagination.
Writing up your dissertation: Guide to undergraduate dissertations in the social sciences. Content About this site What is a Dissertation?
How to start your dissertation Help with finding literature and research Formulating the research question Methodologies Responsibility in the research process Research Ethics Supervision of the Dissertation Writing the Dissertation. Introduction Do all dissertations look the same? Producing a 'working title' Starting to write the dissertation Beginning work on main body Revising sections after supervisor's comments Organise your time Deadlines for producing drafts Writing the introduction Writing a literature review General texts Central texts Further categorisation Further categorisation Then what?
Resources Further reading Research papers. Writing the Dissertation 1 Introduction By the time you start to write the first draft of your dissertation, you will probably already have accumulated a wealth of notes, scribbles and ideas. At one level, yes. They will have to: Formulate a clear question that your dissertation seeks to answer. Review the literature in the field relating to your question. Engage in independent research in addressing this question. Justify whatever methods you choose to undertake your research.
Present and discuss your findings, whilst demonstrating how they relate to your original question. Watch Different types of dissertations video. This video clip contains comments from the following academics: Kevin Bonnett Malcolm Todd Sociology Shawna McCoy Criminology Christopher Christopher-Dowey Criminology Case Study 12 Making sure your dissertation doesn't get on top of you Producing a 'working title' Insofar as the preparation of the dissertation is a process of investigation and discovery, the precise scope of your study may well only emerge as you become closely involved in a detailed review of the literature.
Starting to write the dissertation Supervisors have different ways of working and you will, to some degree, need to negotiate your approach to supervision style. Dissertation Structure Section Section Information Introduction The field of study, the research question, the hypothesis if any or, more generally, the research question that is to be investigated.
The Literature Review Usually, this comes immediately after the introductory chapter. Conclusions and recommendations An overall assessment of what you found out, how successful you were and suggestions for future research. Beginning work on the main body of the dissertation Once you have produced the proposal and discussed it with your supervisor, you may want to write the first draft of a chapter of the dissertation.
Revising sections after receiving the supervisor's comments When you have received your supervisor's comments on the draft of any chapter, you should revise that particular chapter immediately. Organising your time Depending on the credit rating of the dissertation, the amount of time you devote to it should be equivalent to the time you would devote to a taught course with the same credit rating; that is, seminar and lecture time plus time for private study.
Findings from our Research In our research we found that students often did not think about the credit rating of their dissertation and actually spent more time working on it than they should have! They saw it as such an important part of their degree that they wanted to put more into it: Deadlines for producing drafts You will decide with your supervisor precisely when to produce drafts, but if you are taking a dissertation module over one academic year then by the end of the first semester you would normally expect to produce a proposal or abstract and a first draft of one or two chapters.
Writing the introduction The introduction to your dissertation should explain to the reader what you are going to investigate. Writing a literature review Your dissertation is a substantial piece of written work that ideally should conform to a number of academic conventions.
Why is a literature review necessary? The literature review is an important device in your dissertation as it performs a number of related functions: It demonstrates to whoever reads the dissertation that the author of the work has read widely and is aware of the range of debates that have taken place within the given field.
It provides the proof that you have more than a good grasp of the breadth and depth of the topic of the dissertation - your dissertation gives you the opportunity to show off how clever you are! The literature review is a great place to start, because it should demonstrate that you know what you are talking about because you have read everything that is relevant to your dissertation.
It can provide the rationale for the research question in the study. This can be done by highlighting specific gaps in the literature — questions that have not been answered or even asked , and areas of research that have not been conducted within your chosen field.
In this way the literature review can provide a justification of your own research. It can allow you to build on work that has already been conducted. For example you might adopt a similar methodological or theoretical approach in your work to one that exists within the literature, yet place your actual emphasis elsewhere.
In this way you are building on work that has already been conducted by adopting similar strategies and concepts, yet focusing the question on something that interests you. It helps to define the broad context of your study, placing your work within a well defined academic tradition.
Poor dissertations often fail to relate to broader debates within the academic community. They may have a well defined research question, yet without placing this question in the appropriate context, it can lose its significance.
The literature review therefore can add weight to your question by framing it within broader debates within the academic community. How do I 'do' a literature review?
Generate a list of references The first stage of your literature review is to collect a list of literature that is relevant to your study.
Make sense of your reading Once you have a list of references for your dissertation, you now have to access and read this material. Organisation and presentation Once you have generated a large number of notes around your reading you might start to feel overwhelmed by the literature. General texts It will be clear that some of the reading you have done is of more relevance than others.
Central texts Once you have discussed the range of literature that is only of general interest to your study, you can then go into more detail on the literature that more sharply focuses on the questions that are of interest to you. Further categorisation When you have divided your literature review into general works and works of central importance, you should also further divide the literature into sub-categories.
Writing the Methods section This must clearly identify the epistemological i. Writing the Findings section Many students confuse findings with discussion and it is important to keep them separate. You might also find it easier to update your chapter outline as you continue writing your dissertation. For every chapter you complete, include it in your outline and list every subtopic it contains. Just practice and you will realize that writing an outline is very easy.
The introduction chapter is probably the most important chapter in your dissertation. This is the chapter that gives the reader a clear understanding of what your dissertation is about and what kind of information they will gather once they are done reading your research. Therefore, you need to spend a lot of time on this section to ensure it is perfect.
Your introductory paragraph ought to contain a brief explanation of your research and it should also contain your thesis statement. Always ensure your thesis statement is at the end of the paragraph and not the beginning. Also, use very interesting phrases and questions to make the reader even more interested in your work. It is advisable to work on your dissertation when you are done writing all the other sections of your paper.
This is important because it allows you to spend as much time as possible on the section without worrying about the others. If you do not know how to write a dissertation chapter, we can help. We have a team of competent writers who will help you write an impressive dissertation that will boost your grade.
Where to Get Good Essay Samples. Trusted by students worldwide. Your data is protected. If you are not happy with your essay, you are guaranteed to get a full refund. Need a High-Quality Custom Essay? Want to be matched with the best-fitting expert now? Just hit the button below! Masters Undergraduate College High School. Writing Chapter Four Dissertation: Steps for Writing a Methodology Chapter in a Dissertation Writing a methodology chapter in a dissertation is as challenging as writing a dissertation introduction chapter.
It is important to explain to the reader why you chose to use your approaches. This is important because it justifies the validity of your approach. However, do not provide an explanation as to why you did not use the other possible approaches in carrying out your research.
The purpose of your methodology chapter is to provide the reader with enough insight into your approach. You should provide enough information such that if anyone tries to replicate your study, they can do so with ease. You methodology should include every step you took during your research. Therefore, it might be a good idea to list down every step you take so that you do not forget when writing down your research.
The introduction provides the rationale for your dissertation, thesis or other research project: what you are trying to answer and why it is important to do this research. Your introduction should contain a clear statement of the research question and the aims of the research (closely related to the question).
Sep 08, · The introduction is the first chapter of your dissertation and thus is the starting point of your dissertation. You describe the topic of your dissertation, formulate the problem statement and write an overview of your dissertation/5().
Economics dissertation introduction example. This chapter can be seen as an introductory part of this bachelor thesis, since this chapter introduces the topic of this thesis: . The introduction to your dissertation should explain to the reader what you are going to investigate. It should describe the dissertation's topic and scope. You should explain your reasons for investigating your chosen topic by referring to the appropriate literature.
A dissertation introduction is the first thing that a reader sees when reading your dissertation. It basically creates the first impression of your dissertation, and this first impression will last till the end of your dissertation or thesis. The introduction chapter is probably the most important chapter in your dissertation. This is the chapter that gives the reader a clear understanding of what your dissertation is about and what kind of information they will gather once they are .