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Writing a Strong and Decent Dissertation Literature Review

Review writing can get complicated. It isn’t quite the same as an essay, and not quite the same as a research paper, either. If you haven’t written a review on anything before, don’t worry. Keep reading for the best tips on reviewing literature and you’ll be well on your way to an A+ grade. It really takes just knowing what to do, and then the actual writing part is easy. Whether you are reviewing a play, movie, book, dissertation or any other literature, the format and method of writing are mostly the same. Of course, if your teacher has specific instructions for this project, always follow them first.

Guidelines on Writing Literature Reviews

How do you start something like this? There’s so much to do, and you have a whole novel, play, or movie to analyze. Here are some simple steps you can follow.

  1. Take lots of notes on your first read through of the literature. If you’ve already read it and didn’t take many notes, then make time to read it again; it’ll really help. If you absolutely don’t have time to read it again, you can flip through and remind yourself of important passages.
  2. From your notes, write a brief outline of what you want to talk about and what order you’ll write it in. You can look to online samples for ideas on this step.
  3. Next, you should start the writing part. This first draft of your review will be rough and that’s okay. Just get your ideas down on paper and sprinkle your quotes and paraphrases into the appropriate places.
  4. After that’s done, if you have time to, it’s a very good idea to leave it be for a while. Focus on something else for at least one day and up to a week if you have that much time before your deadline. You can gain valuable perspective this way.
  5. Now it’s time to reread your work and edit it. Correct any obvious mistakes and run it through the spellcheck on your computer.
  6. Hand your review to a friend to read. Having another person’s opinion can really help you spot errors you didn’t even think of being there. This is especially helpful if the friend is in your class and you can exchange reviews with him or her to help each other out.
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