Posts Tagged ‘Chapter 2: Literature Review’

Video Transcript: Dissertation Writing Tip #2: Chapter 2: Literature Review

Good morning everyone!

Video: #2: Tips for Post Graduate Writing: Chapter 2: Literature Review.

[Video transcript]

Hello and welcome back!  My name is Dr. Cheryl Lentz, owner of The Refractive Thinker® Press and tonight we will begin with the second part in our 5-part series, how to craft a doctoral dissertation and/or an effective graduate thesis.

Tonight’s focus is on Chapter 2: The Literature Review.  The purpose of a literature review is simply the ability to research via scholarly avenues what already exists about your topic and problem statement AND to delve deeper into how your study will contribute to the larger body of knowledge.  The point is not to duplicate what has already been done, but to find the existing gap for which your study will contribute.

Remember that a literature review is not simply a historical book report about either your company of study or topic(s) of study.  Instead, the literature review exists to justify the research problem by providing the current known knowledge (evidence) (or perhaps lack thereof), as well as the theory or theoretical framework that is behind or ‘frames’ the study.  Think of these as offering your reader a perspective in context.

Let’s begin with first with your introduction.  Remember that for each chapter–whether a 5 chapter or 7 chapter format–you will need to be sure to integrate an introduction (which introduces your chapter and your writing objectives), body paragraphs (which cover the details), and conclusion (which reviews the main points as offered by your chapter as well as reviews the writing objectives from your introduction to prove that these expectations have been met).

In this part 2, we want to be able to talk about the introduction of your study, with regard to your theoretical frameworks and your problem statement so we can do some historical gathering of evidence to find what is already there, and so that you can look to offering the piece(s) of the puzzle that perhaps might be missing.

Think of this purpose as the ability to be on the same page with your reader.  You might start with definitions of terms.  Remember some of the things you may be discussing may be very specific to your study.  Help your reader with defining those specific terms and make sure you have clear evidence and/or quotes to share where those definitions are from.

Second, you want to be able to look at the topic and your problem statement.  Make sure that you understand that your problem statement is what is going to drive the train for your study.  Be sure to look how your problem statement will look at your problems for study and how this may affect your theoretical frames, theories, and context for which your problem will serve.

That’s where we really want to get into the research; looking at journals, looking at articles, looking at evidence and research that already exists.  Our goal is to put into context to justify the relevance and importance of both your study and the theories for which you are going to offer.

Next, let’s again offer the summary aspect.  The whole goal of this idea of the literature review is to provide to your reader as perhaps a chronological sequence what already exists within the most current literature—within the most recent 3-5 years–for you to be able to offer your reader what has already been done and what you are going to contribute as part of your study.

As always, thank you so much for joining us for this second piece in the 5 part series.  Please join me for more tips on effective post graduate writing at our blog at for additional help and guidance.  Again, my name is Dr. Cheryl Lentz.  We look forward seeing you next time when we will look at Chapter 3: Methodology.  Good luck as your work on your doctoral dissertation or graduate thesis continues.  See you next time!


With respect,


Dr. Cheryl Lentz

Chief Refractive Thinker®
The Refractive Thinker® Press, where discriminating scholars publish.

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February 15th, 2011 by admin