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Writing a Dissertation or Thesis Proposal: Write the Review

Books, websites, and powerpoints to help you write your dissertation or thesis proposal

Write the Review

Time to put all those notes together! Here are some ways to organize your written review of the literature:

  • by themes or patterns
  • by the main theories or concepts in a subject area
  • by methodology

Be selective and only include the sources that are the most reliable, valid and relevant to your topic.

Make an outline with the main areas you want to address as the headings and subheadings of the literature review.

Synthesize the information by:

  • making connections between and among ideas and concepts
  • comparing and contrasting ideas and concepts
  • explaining why your approach is valid in light of opposing viewpoints
  • building a knowledge base for your research question
  • extending new lines of thinking you've developed during the survey and evaluation
  • avoiding simply summarizing isolated sources

It may not seem like it, but the writing the literature review is actually a creative activity because you are bringing your own perspective to it:

"An imaginative approach to searching and reviewing the literature includes having a broad view of the topic; being open to new ideas, methods, and arguments; ‘playing’ with different ideas to see whether you can make new linkages; and following ideas to see where they might lead." – Bloomberg and Volpe, 2008

RefWorks Video Tutorials

Citation and Writing Help

The UNT Writing Center is a great resource to use for assistance with formatting style and citation, writing style, organization, flow and more. The lab accepts appointments and walk-ins, but appointments are encouraged to guarantee time with a tutor. To make an appointment, drop by the Writing Center or call at (940) 565-2563.

Citation Help

The UNT Libraries connect you to many fine online resources about different citation styles. Visit some of these sites below:

Ask Us!

Need help? Then use the library's Ask Us service. Get help from real people face-to-face, by phone, or by email.

Ask Us!

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