How to Write a Literature Review for a Dissertation

Writing a Literature Review Writing a dissertation is one of the great learning tasks of college education. However, many students find it a daunting process. One of the first challenges you face is writing a literature review and the purpose of this post is to help you get started with the process, to keep you on track as you proceed and to provide a means of self-reviewing your outputs when you (think you) have completed. Let’s start with a simple set of questions: What constitutes a literature review? What is it used for? and What distinguishes a good literature review from a poor one? As the name implies, a literature review is a review of other people’s work in a particular field of scholarship. Such a review is always directed and informed by the research question to be addressed. For example, if your research question is related to adult literacy then you will need to provide a review of other works, be they theoretical models, research reports or practice studies, that relate to adult literacy. Most importantly, a literature review cannot be of any value unless it is referenced to some form of research question or problem. It is a common mistake for students to misunderstand the purpose of a literature review – Read More …

PhD Viva Voce

For the last three and a half years I have been working on my PhD. This week – last Thursday to be specific – I completed my Viva Voce and the successful outcome was essentially the last step in the process. Phew!My thesis is called Pathways to Competence and Participation in the Digital World – it is a study of the learning journey of adults who take up computer skills for the first time.It’s a nice feeling to complete research especially when the topic has always been of interest to me. It is great to have had the opportunity to learn in this way.No doubt there is more to be done and I am planning some publications and perhaps a few blogs in the future will feature ideas from my research.For now I am reflecting on why I decided to do a PhD in the first place and how I feel about that now. I genuinely wanted to know more about the field of education – although I have extensive experience in terms of business and media especially television production – scholarly research is another way of looking at the world.I have always been intrigued by learning – why and Read More …