How to write a literature review in 5 easy steps?

Research for a literature review can be challenging, but it doesn’t mean you have to stop your research and start looking for sources. This post will teach you how to quickly and easily find relevant sources online. We’ll show you how to use Google Scholar, JSTOR, Google books and library databases like ProQuest Central or EBSCOhost.

How Long will Literature Review Take?

Literature review is a type of research paper that reviews and synthesizes other sources. It can be written before or after the original research, but the primary purpose is to determine if the theory proposed by the original author should be accepted or rejected.

This literature review will take around 50 hours, put in 350-600 hours of hard work for this project! 

reviewing literature

Step 1: Thesis Statement

Before you start looking for sources, you should have a thesis statement in place. Your thesis statement needs to guide your search for literature. It’s the basis of your research, not an afterthought that you write last!

You can also think about your thesis statement as an introduction to your paper. It provides the reader with background information about the topic and presents an argument or problem that you will address. You may want to outline or draft it before you start researching.

If you’re interested in learning more about thesis statements , check out my post on writing a PhD Thesis Statement .

Step 2: Search for your Thesis Statement

The following are three common methods of searching for literature that is related to your thesis statement. You can apply them to most disciplines, but I find it’s most helpful when you are looking for research papers in your field. For example, if you are studying childcare, search “childcare” in Google Scholar and the results will be relevant to your paper.

The first method is using a search engine. The search engine will provide a list of relevant websites and other information. Google Scholar, JSTOR, and ProQuest Central are free to access for students and faculty at a university. If you do not have access to these databases through your school, don’t worry! You can use Google’s other search engines. For example, Google’s general search is great for finding solid resources. Just make sure to click on the “scholar” button (on the left-hand side of the page) when searching for your topic.

The second method that you can use to search for research related to your thesis statement is using a citation index. A citation index is a database of scholarly publications that has been numbered and categorized. This makes it very easy to search for things relating to your inquiry question. The most common one in the US is called Web of Science. However, other databases exist, such as Scopus and Google Scholar . You can find a list of them here .

Step 3: Begin your Literature Review

You should include Introduction that includes the research question and purpose of your thesis statement in your literature review. One or two sentences that briefly outline the results of each article. The introductory paragraph could appear something like this: The research indicates X, where X is a single thing that you learned from each article (or perhaps one main idea). It might seem like too much to include every detail in your intro, but this is a very important part of your paper and will help you structure the rest of your paper. It will also help make it more cohesive and easier to understand for all of your readers.

Step 4: Summarize the Results of Each Article

This section is pretty simple to write, but you have to make sure that you are accurately summarizing each article. When writing this section, I typically make a note of the main idea of each article on my paper. This way I can easily remember what I read and write an accurate summary. You can also use your intro paragraph to summarize this section.

Step 5: Conclude your Literature Review

This is where you should conclude your review. You can conclude that “The research shows X”, or “The evidence does not show that there is a relationship between Y and Z”. The conclusion may include one or two sentences that summarize the main idea of each article. Try to avoid using terms such as “good” or “bad” in this section. This will make your summary seem negative and hard to follow for readers who are not familiar with your particular inquiry topic. Remember, this is a paper for readers who are studying your particular area of inquiry, so don’t get too specific in describing the results of each article.

Getting a PhD is not easy of course. It requires dedication, self-discipline, and a capacity for hard work. It also entails quite a lot of study. Of course there are benefits to becoming a doctorate holder too; you will potentially greatly benefit your future career or even be awarded an academic prize due to your hard work. The benefits of post-graduate education are not only confined to the individual but stretch to society as well.

Why PHD is So Valuable?

Valuable book

Higher education is now more accessible than ever before. And it will no doubt continue its upward trend in the near future. The current system of doctoral degrees has shortened the time needed for people who were educated at Ivy League universities like Harvard University which used to last 8 years (in 1903) down to 5 years (in 2013).

If you successfully complete a doctorate degree, you will not only have a higher degree of knowledge but also a greater chance for a good job after you graduate. The time spent studying can be well worth it as your potential income increases significantly from being a bachelor. Citizens with doctorates earn more than those who have just acquired their diplomas. Even if your study is focused on an area that does not require much professional knowledge, the fact that it has been recognized by the academic world is enough to make you sought after by large companies and organizations.



Some may argue that there are too may doctorate degrees issued nowadays and students work hard to get them without really understanding what the degree course subject is about and why they need it.


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To Conclude

The current system of postgraduate education can be improved to benefit more students. The time factor is one of the most important factors; it should be shortened to make high-quality study possible.

On this basis, my first proposal addresses the time factor by introducing a shorter period for doctoral degrees at post-secondary institutions. The suggestion makes them between 1 and 3 years in length. This will allow undergraduates to concentrate more on their studies without being distracted by obtaining a doctorate certificate too quickly. It will also provide graduates with time to research further on the topic they are studying before applying for jobs or publishing academic papers or making presentations at conferences. In this article, we covered how to write a literature review with ease. But as you know, it’s not easy to stick into one single topic for more than 5 minutes after studying literature.

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