Writing a Critical Review of Literature: A Practical Guide for English Graduate Students

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As an integral part of dissertations and theses, research scholars in different disciplines require to write a comprehensive chapter on "literature review" that establishes the conceptual and theoretical foundations of an empirical research study. This, however, poses an intellectual challenge to produce a critical review of the published research on a given topic. Therefore, this paper addresses the students problems of writing the literature review in a thesis or dissertation at the graduate and postgraduate levels. It explains the process and steps of reviewing literature for a thesis chapter. These steps include; a) critical reading and note-taking, b) writing a summary of the reviewed literature, c) organization of literature review, and d) the use of a synthesis matrix. The last part of the paper offers suggestions on how to write critically and make the researcher's voice explicit in the chapter.


1-Sayyed Rashid Shah
Assistant Professor, Faculty of Languages & Translation, King Khalid University, Abha, Saudi Arabia.

2-Fasih Ahmed
HOD, Department of Humanities, COMSATS University, Islamabad, Pakistan.

3-Reena Khan
MPhil. Researcher, Applied Linguistics, Lahore Leeds University, Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan.


Applied Linguistics, Lahore Leeds University, Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Published: Dec 2018

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