Creating A Strong Geography Dissertation Literature Review

A literature review is the section of a dissertation that always follows the introduction, and comes before the methodology section. Because the introduction’s role is to tell the reader what you’re going to be doing and interest them enough to keep reading, you then need to plant them in the right location of secondary literature. This involves a body of works that are published by various other scholars, identified to be relevant to the work you’re doing on geography.

In order to have a good literature review for your geography project, it needs to be concise, critical and curated within the right context. The purpose is to give the reader a base of theories, like a survey of works that are related to your own research and analyzes the same kind of work. It’s important to have this critical review of the literature that has come before yours to ground the reader.

Writing a literature review: purposes

Here are the purposes that a literature review should serve in your dissertation:

  • It shows how your writing will lead to new knowledge
  • Places your work in where it fits in with previous research
  • Shows how your writing is important
  • Gives you credentials and alerts the reader you know what’s what in the field

When you’re writing this, you need to think about how people will view your work years from now. Think about why you’re writing this custom dissertation in the first place, and why you enjoy studying geography. Try using the funnel method if you’re struggling whit writing your review. This means that all your objectives (the purposes listed above) will be met. The funnel method can be used for any topic; it uses a principle of commonality. Works that have something in common should be grouped together.

To do this, you should read through the categories of the works you’re considering to include in your literature review and organize them in a way that makes sense to you. If you have a piece that fits into more than one category, you need to decide a dominant category to stick with. If you make sure you order and manage the categories required then you can hit all the points you need to. Generally, you should use broader works somewhat related to your subject first, and then talk about the ones more specifically close to yours last.


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