How To Find A Template Of A Literature Review For A Dissertation

Regardless of the subject and topic of your dissertation, it will likely include a literature review to provide background and set the stage for your research. The literature review can function summarize previous research that is informing assumptions made in your research, to show that there is a gap in existing research which makes yours necessary, or to simply familiarize readers with a topic they may need background on. If you are unfamiliar with creating literature reviews it may be helpful to find examples or templates to give you an idea of what a successful one looks like, and how they should be structured. Use these suggestions of where to find a template to get started:

Other Dissertations

A literature review for a dissertation may be a bit different than ones included in journal articles or books. So the best place to find examples or templates is in other dissertations. If you are a student, the first place to look for these is at your university. Most universities keep all past student Masters’ theses and Doctoral dissertations in their library collections, either as bound books or digital copies. If possible, find recent ones from your department or program, or consult your University’s library webpage or ask a librarian for help to search and access them.

Outside of your own library’s collection, dissertation abstracts can be accessed through organizations such as Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD), which provide links to many databases, including country specific collections. These databases, such as ProQuest or Dissertation Abstracts International, will allow you to search and browse by date, subject, and in some cases universities. Some of these databases are free, while some may require subscriptions. If you are affiliated with a university, check to see if these databases are included in your E-Resource access.

Journal Articles

Many journal articles also include literature reviews. For the most helpful examples, find articles that are similar to your topic, or that were published in a journal you might be interested in pursuing for your own research.

Online Writing Help

Most Universities have writing centers and online writing help pages that can be great resources for finding examples or literature review or other paper components like abstracts or sources cited. Check out your own Universities’ site, or use a simple online search to find other web resources.


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