Dissertation Writing: How to Organize a Lit Review

Dear Learner:

Our topic for discussion is the challenge of organizing a Literature Review for your dissertation. Often, my students find helpful guidance in thinking about how one might organize a resume.  Some resumes being chronologically, some focus on skills, education, publications, or volunteer work. In other words, there is a focus of how to tell your personal story depending on the employment or volunteer opportunity you are making application.  A literature review is similar in that there needs to be an organizational schema in how to tell the story of your dissertation.

For example, if you were conducting research regarding a financial problem, you might choose a specific moment in time such as The Great Depression, the Dot Com Bust, the 2005 Real Estate Recession.  This point would be the point of departure for where your literature review begins.  The goal is to bring your reader current regarding everything known about your problem as part of your literature review; however, there must be some organizational element that weaves the story together for your reader to follow.  Remember, the goal is not only to bring your reader current about your topic, but also to justify the need for your study as a result of a gap in between what is known and what is not known.  A dissertation is more than simply a topic of curiosity or interest.  Thus, there must be a way to organize your story  of your dissertation as you present your arguments to justify the need for your doctoral research.

Please share your best practices for organizing your doctoral story.

My best,

Dr. Cheryl Lentz
The Academic Entrepreneur

June 3rd, 2017 by admin

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