A literature review is an essential part of dissertation paper writing: it shows the need for your work in relation to what is already known about your subject. A critical literature review, on the other hand, is analytical, in which the statement of facts are mentioned critically. When writing a critical literature review for a dissertation, it is necessary to collect information from numerous sources of medical and scientific field, evaluate recent trends to add value to it. In any case, a good literature review must have a critical approach. The critical analysis of literature makes it sound logical with good insight to perform good literature research.

The purpose of literature research is to help you give an insight into the existing literature. Through a critical review of literature, you can find out:

  • What are the findings of one study and what another study explored?
  • What research has already been conducted?
  • Which research is still missing or what is the research gap?
  • What can you include in your existing research (where others lack)?
  • Which research methods have been used by authors and why?

Prepare Your Literature Review In Five Steps

Formulate the research material

When writing a critical literature review for a dissertation, it is necessary to choose the most reliable material and authentic sources to find the latest information. It can be science, healthcare, technology and culture industry as they are constantly evolving. A review of the literature always begins with your topic, research variables and objectives. Describe the existing ideas about the problem under study, their evolution, naming the main representatives of the scientific ideas dedicated to the problem and indicating their achievements.

Introduction section

The introductory part of the literature review does not usually provide an accurate description of the problem and the results of the study. It is best to describe in chronological order, who, when, and in what direction, and briefly describe the topics of research and experimentation. This should prevent the researcher from copying the same information each time a subsequent reference is made. There are many examples of critical review introduction available on the internet where you can seek guidance from. For instance, google scholar lets you explore a number of peer reviewed articles with critical review of literature.

Main body

Most of the literature review is based on publications containing direct research. A review should begin with a brief description of the research carried out and a list of the main results. The reader must be able to imagine the object of the study, when, and by whom the study was carried out. Experimental material obtained from other studies should be used with caution. For instance, the main body can discuss about an objective or a variable and their findings that are compared among studies.

Write a conclusion

In the end, write a conclusion that brings the information altogether, in which your opinion is based on the compare and contrast of various research. You can finish it by claiming that a particular studies in this context have this stance but some also oppose, whereas some suggest further study.  


After the completion of your dissertation, it is time to draw up a list of references (bibliography). Add all the references you need to the corresponding locations. When doing references, it should be remembered that the main principle of its compilation is to give the readers the opportunity to find the used literature easily. To do this, all the information about the source should be indicated completely. This is the main guarantee of success.

Importance of Critical Literature Review

The critical literature review is important due to the following reasons:

  • It describes the relationship between the proposed study and previous researches.
  • It shows the originality and relevance of your research questions. Particularly that your study is different from other statisticians.
  • It proves that the method proposed is reasonable.
  • It indicates that you are willing to complete the research.

Critical analysis of literature: Tips for completion of a dissertation

In the last phase, write a clear summary and preface make a table of content, check all the references and ensure the format and layout of the paper is neat. Read our tips about writing a critical literature review for dissertation below:

  • Re-read the document again to correct any errors.
  • Pay attention to the writing style, structure, and format of the dissertation.
  • Make sure the appendices meet the requirements.
  • Write a summary in the end when the thesis is finished.
  • Include a reading guide to let the reader know what is included in the document.
  • Make sure to write a clear introduction and conclusion for your thesis.
  • References should be formatted in alphabetical order.
  • Before submitting, go through the entire document carefully to ensure it’s perfect.

That’s all we have on writing a critical literature review. Now you know how to write a critical literature review so you can use it to improve your research writing. Literature is the second chapter of a dissertation and the first is introduction that should also be appealing to the reader. Here are some expert tips on writing a dissertation introduction that you can consider to improve your research writing.