Why do I need a literature review outline?
A literature review outline is useful in organizing your literature review and maintaining focus when you write. The outline may consist of only a few words, or be a detailed guide of each and every point that you wish to make. Looking at a literature review outline example and literature review structure can provide information about how to organize and layout your own literature review.
Using a literature review outline example as a writing guide
As there is little variation between the basic formats of literature reviews, looking at literature review outline examples provides much of the information that you need for outlining and writing your own literature review.
The following is an example literature review outline:
Introduction – Should be brief and hold the reader’s attention
- Provides a general overview of the topic
- Explains why the topic is important to put it in context for the reader.
- Provide an easily identifiable thesis statement
Body – Analysis of literature noting similarities, differences and controversies
- First main idea/argument
- First supporting point with evidence
- Second supporting point with evidence
- Second main idea/argument
- Third main idea/argument
- Summarize the main points
- Explain the significance of the analysis
- Restate the thesis and how it was addressed in your review
The above literature review outline example is basic, but will accommodate the majority of differences between reviews with only slight alterations. Most variations will occur in the body, depending on how you choose to structure the review. The following are some simple but useful tips that can help with developing your own outline:
- Identify major themes that can be used as major headings
- Form sub-topics by grouping ideas together that are related in some way. Focus on some of the main relationships and avoid having too many sub-topics.
- Concepts that are more general are normally presented first
- Be flexible as your outline will likely change during the course of research and writing, with the goal of improving the end product
If you are having difficulty with outlining or any other aspect of your literature review, you may want to consider our literature review writing service as a possible alternative.
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