what is a lit review in a dissertation
Literature reviews involve collecting information from literature that is already available, similar to a long essay. It is a written argument that builds a case from previous research (Machi and McEvoy, 2012). Every dissertation should include a literature review, but a dissertation as a whole can be a literature review. In this section we discuss literature reviews for the whole dissertation.
There are advantages and disadvantages to any approach. The advantages of conducting a literature review include accessibility, deeper understanding of your chosen topic, identifying experts and current research within that area, and answering key questions about current research. The disadvantages might include not providing new information on the subject and, depending on the subject area, you may have to include information that is out of date.
Step 1: Review the materials that you used in your [See Stage 1: Initial literature survey] and the feedback you received from your committee.
(from University of Minnesota’s Dissertation Calculator)
This section can be used to show where you are filling a perceived gap in the existing theory or knowledge, or you are proposing something that goes against or is controversial to existing ideas.
This section describes the existing and established theory and research in your report area. You are providing a context for your work.