Dissertation Writing Help

Sample Literature Review

Because literature reviews may present a challenge to the student who has not previously written one, a sample literature review can often increase the student's understanding of the assignment. One does not need to obtain sample literature reviews on the work of literature that one is reviewing; rather, each review will contain some common elements from which one may learn.

First, each sample literature review will probably begin with some introductory remarks, such as a witty quote, a brief illustration, or a few sentences about the background of the author, if the content of the book depends on that background. The goal is to catch the reader's attention.

Second, sample literature reviews will briefly outline the content of the book. In contrast to a book report, which is almost entirely a review of the book's content, a literature review only presents enough of the content to give the review reader some idea of what the rest of the review discusses. The content summary is not the point of the literature review; it is only a single part of the discussion and should probably amount to less than a third of the total word count of the review, unless the writer has a particular reason for making it longer.

The element upon which readers of sample literature reviews may find the most enlightenment is the third and most important element, the evaluation of the work of literature. The goal of one's evaluation is to convince the review reader whether or not to read the work of literature, or, if the review reader has already read the target text, whether or not to trust it or admire it. One should note in the sample literature review how the writer has given reasons and examples for his or her assessments. Good writers of literature reviews do not simply say, "I liked this book," or "I disliked this chapter," but instead provide concrete reasons for their opinions.