How To Write A Literature Review

Basic Guide

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Basic Guide to Writing a Literature Review

Writing a literature review is no easy task. You have to find the sources most relevant to your research, read the lengthy articles and rephrase the entire information to stay away from plagiarism. Your hardships doesn’t end here. You have to look for the standard format required to cite the sources and provide references according to that specific style.

Best Assignment Writer puts a full stop to all your hardships by making the easiest guide for you to understand this important section. Whether you are writing literature review on law dissertation topics or accounting dissertation topics, this guide will benefit you in the best possible way.


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  1. What is a Literature Review?
  2. Why Need Review of The Past Literature?
  3. How to Write a Literature Review?
  4. 1. Collect Sources
  5. 2. Select Sources
  6. 3. Write Your Literature Review:
  7. Do You Still Need Help With Writing A Literature Review? Check our Samples!

What is a Literature Review?

When you use certain sources to support your dissertation, this comes under the chapter of literature review.

The review consists of information from the sources used either in the form of:

  • A quote (words and sentences used as it is).
  • Paraphrasing (writing the information in your own words).

Why Need Review of The Past Literature?

No matter you are writing a research paper or making a dissertation proposal, review of the past literature will help you:

  • Know the previous work done on your topic.
  • Ascertain the lacking in the previous knowledge.
  • Identify the different variables in your research.
  • Develop suitable number of hypothesis.
  • Support your arguments.
  • Compare your results with the available data.

How to Write a Literature Review?

You will never need to ask, “How to write a literature review?” if you will follow the steps given by our experts which are:

  1. Collect Sources:

You will need many sources to present the complete information on your research topic. It is advisable to collect atleast 50 sources for your dissertation. These sources can be:

  • Books
  • Past dissertations
  • Unpublished manuscripts
  • Published articles
  • Government report
  • Oral conferences

Where Can I Find Sources For Writing Literature Review?

There are multiple relevant sites you can visit to find sources like:

Note: Check the reference list of the sources you find. Paste them on Google scholars to open those articles. This way you will have pool of information from different sources.

  1. Select Sources:

After you have a pool of information, you can select the most suitable information relevant to your research topic. Ask yourself following questions while selecting information like:

  • Is the source addressing my research purpose and question?
  • Does this source provide background on my research?
  • Are the results and conclusion relevant to my topic?
  • Does it shows the supporting arguments of my research?
  • Can I find suitable variables in the source?
  • What is the impact factor of the source? (higher impact factor have higher credibility)

Note: You cannot read all the 50 sources. So the easiest way to do this is to read those 5 articles which are closest to your research question. This will give you an idea of the related key terms. Search those key terms in the remaining sources by using ctrl+F. Select those sentences or paragraphs by highlighting them.

  1. Write Your Literature Review:

Once you have selected the appropriate sources, you can start structuring your chapter.

  • The most important thing to keep in mind is the flow of your work. You cannot take random sentences to write the literature review.
    Solution: Mark your sources as 1, 2, 3 and onwards to link each one with the other.
  • The other most commonly encountered problem is the plagiarism.
    -Read the sentences and paragraphs and write it in your own words.
    -Use synonyms section for words given in the Microsoft word
    -Use plagiarism testing software to check the plagiarism ratio.
    -Edit and proofread your work properly.

How to Do a Literature Review with Proper Flow?

Follow the order given to give your literature review a proper structure:

  • Topic related sentence – start with a sentence that elaborates your topic.
  • Provide background – Write the background of the research topic.
  • Explain the trends – Explain the trends of your research topic.
  • Support your argument – Direct the reader to your target topic.

Check the following literature review example for a clearer explanation:

Performance appraisal system is one of the vital jobs of human resource management system. It consist of different methods to gauge employee’s performance in relation to the set standards. It screens how well employees are performing their jobs.. Performance management system is considered an important factor to improve productivity of employees leading to increased financial returns.. It is considered as a powerful tool to reinforce preferred behaviors and targeted performance of the employees to achieve strategic goals through optimum knowledge, skills and abilities. . It is also considered important in assisting companies to interpret and analyze where the performances are strong thus ensuring best practices in the organization. .
The use of performance appraisal system to increase their productivity has always been a contradictory subject. While most managers think it enhances employee motivation, there are studies that conclude that these systems of performance gauging does not improve productivity among employees leading to the destruction of employee relationship with his/her manager. . Those employees scoring good in appraisal scores are appreciated whereas those who cannot can turn away from their managers and rather blame their management for their decreased performance. (Explain the trends) Their attitude towards organization changes leading to reduce motivation and performance shrinkage. . Thus these systems have a confrontational effect on employee’s behavior and attitudes decreasing their satisfaction .

  1. Edit and Proofread your Work:

Editing and proofreading help you refine your literature review and give it a proper structure. It improves the readability of your work ensuring that your reader can comprehend your work appropriately.


  1. Add Citations and References:

The last step in writing review of the literature is the mentioning of the sources in the format required by the university or journal you tend to publish your work in. References consist of two parts:

  • In-text Citation: The references that are added after every sentence in your literature review.
  • End Text Citation: The end text citation is done after the end of your dissertation or research paper.

There are various different styles for referencing like:

  • Harvard: Used in Social Sciences and Humanities
  • Chicago: Used in Psychology and Social Sciences
  • Oscola: Used in law studies
  • MLA: Used in humanities and social sciences.
  • Vancouver: Used in medicine sciences.
  • APA: Used in social sciences.

All in text and end text citation differs depending on the style used. You can check our guides or following reference generators for your ease:

Do You Still Need Help With Writing A Literature Review?
Check our Samples!

With this literature review guide, you will be able to write exceptional literature review. But if you still need help, you can check our literature review samples for your ease.

You can also contact us for literature review writing and editing services so that your research paper is accepted in first attempt!