Steps to write critical literature review for your Dissertation- A complete guide by Dr. Stephen

The second name for the dissertation could be; the ‘nectar of your brain’s creativity’. With that being said, students are likely to doubt their capabilities of carrying out a research. You must have heard that an effective way to do your dissertation is when you study, analyze, and conclude the problem statement of your research. BUT! What goes behind the curtain is always surprising. Students actually pull their hair out and have panic attacks while doing their dissertations.

The dissertation has its five identified chapters which are:

  • Introduction and Abstract
  • Literature Review
  • Methodology
  • Data Analysis & Discussion
  • Conclusion/Recommendations

Each of the above chapters has its significant importance. But the foremost importance of your dissertation lies in the literature review. It is that element of your research on which your topic will be based upon, and it can get as tough as it could.

What is Literature Review?

A literature review is the critical analysis of the previously researched data on a respective topic”

Literature review is when you are critically reviewing the previously gathered data that compliments your topic the most. From the literature review, you will identify the problem or a gap you are going to research upon, and what would be the basis of your dissertation. The data must be authentic and relevant as it holds a 30% weightage of your whole dissertation.

Why is there a need to write literature review?

“Without writing a literature review, imagine yourself driving on a road with no turns – that’s right! There will be no destination’’

The literature review sets the purpose for your dissertation. A literature review helps you in identifying the aspects that are already found and known. The literature review also enlightens the reader with the critical review of what you have found pertaining to your topic, so far! If you want to know more about its importance, arrange a chit-chat session with a literature review helper and you’ll be amazed at its impact.

A professional guide to write best literature reviews!

With all the warnings and the importance of the literature review, it is time to know about the steps that are more like a staircase to a successful dissertation.

To make it more clear and effortless for you to understand, let me break it down into two parts;

  • How would you search for your literature?
  • How would you write your literature review?

How you would search for your literature?

It is not as easy as hopping on google and casually searching for dissertation help literature review, it is rather the case where you follow the whole systematic process and searching techniques to delight yourself with the quality of data.

Let’s go through the following steps with the help of an example. Consider that you are doing a dissertation on the following topic;

“Reasons behind the increasing infant mortality rate in Nigeria”


Step1: Go through the relevant data

First thing first, when you search on a topic, make sure the data you get, highly compliments your research. For example, if you are researching the topic above, you would have to study the mortality rate in Nigeria, specifically and not of any other country. You can even search with the relevant keywords. SEARCH IN YOUR DOMAIN! It will help you in sticking to the relevant data.

Step2: Parameters to select the sources

Sources add value to your research. There are few smart ways to judge the authenticity of your sources because if your literature review lacks authenticity, you are back to square one of haunted research. Look at the given ways to judge your resources;

  • If you are taking help from the previously done researches, read the abstract first. It will aware you about the importance and originality of that research.
  • Skim through the bibliography to judge how up-to-date and relevant the data is.
  • Keep track of the citation count on google scholar, the higher the count, the authentic the data is.

Step3: Identify themes, debates and gaps

In this step, you must have the access to the most authentic and relevant data. Now, the question is WHAT COULD BE THE STRATEGY TO STUDY THAT DATA?  The answer is you have to critically read the data, brainstorm yourself, and make a list of pointers to critically evaluate the data.

Example: you are reading a nursing dissertation literature review, because you are researching a medicinal domain, so you have got to keep the eye of an eagle to identify the research gap in the data, which will give you a topic to carry in your research. Jot down the patterns, themes of the data or look at the arguments that support that particular data. This is the step to OBSERVE!

Step4: Give structure to your literature review

This is the step to STRATEGIZE! Now it is time to strategize on what you will emphasize more in your research from the data you have found. By doing so, you will crown the best and suitable structure to your research. There are few techniques to structure your literature review;


When you write your literature in a timely manner, like from older to new, or new to older.


When you want to write your literature review that revolved around specific or several key themes. For example, if you want to give a thematic approach to this research for infant mortality then, you will have to make portions for the country’s health care department, or the trends of family planning, or the cities that have the highest rate among the country and why. You are setting the theme for your research here.


When you decide on what methodology you should have to carry out your research, either it is going to be qualitative, quantitative, or a hybrid methodology that includes both methods. Decide which method choose the best in your research, but a recommended one is always quantitative as numbers are easier to conclude.


Where you are vaguely discussing your arguments to support and oppose certain theories.

Step5: Critical reading and analysis of your ideas

Now that you have brainstormed through your literature, it is time to critically read and analyze those ideas. Trust the doctor, it is easier to find about the grey areas right now than finding it later when you have written down the whole literature review. Preventive measures are better than regret and agonies.

These steps require the ultimate concentration of students, that is why more students lean on to take the help from literature review writing service UK based, and no doubt they do them exceptionally well!

How would you write your literature review?

This will adopt the simple and basic method to write any academic content. It’s the same, old and effective recipe with just some modified research techniques. Your literature review must contain;

literature review


In this section, you will inform the reader about the problem statement of your research. Also, highlight the research gap you have identified. And you know what could be the best way to put forth a great introduction?
It is when you specify how many times this research has been conducted on this topic. It gives a UNIQUE READING POINT to your dissertation. You may discuss the objectives of your research in this section as well.


This is going to be the essence of your literature review. Make sure you use well-structured paragraphs in your main body. For that, set the subheadings for each information like the theme, methodology, the discussion points, or the relevant data from which you identified the research gap.


This is the nectar of your whole take on literature review writing. And if you have made this far without taking any help from the writers of dissertation literature review UK based, trust me you are going to love writing this. In conclusion of your literature review, you are going to highlight your research gap which is the problem statement of your research. And not only this, you will get a chance to express your own opinion – nothing is greater than having the freedom of speech!

DO’s And Don’ts!!


This chart is basically what we had discussed in the whole guide above. Please, keep these in mind if you want to learn about the art of writing a literature review.

Let’s Make A Checklist, Shall We?

  • Learned about literature review.
  • Learned about its importance.
  • Researched on the topic.
  • Become known about the steps involved in the research for literature review.
  • Become known about the steps to write and frame your literature review.

With a great deal of dedication and good luck to all literature review writers! Trust my experience, with the help of the given guide you can never go wrong with your literature review.


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