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Writing Effective Literature Review

In this simple note, I would like to give a very simple example of how to write clear and effective literature review. Most of the times, as the beginners in writing research reports for academic purposes, we have the problem to make our stances and arguments very clear. I am sure, with this simple note, the Writing Effective Literature Review will be more clear to many like me.
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Writing Effective Literature Review

Issues in Writing Effective Literature Review

We have summed up some of the key issues faced by our research students when they write their reports and specifically the review of literature.
Issue 1: Writing Effective Literature Review, What It Means?

Most of the times, when we begin Writing Effective Literature Review, the question comes what does it actually mean? To many, this becomes like like a very beginner tutorial in Writing Effective Literature Review so we usually exaggerate the findings and our reading. Like the following example from one of my student's writing, the finding is actually nothing but highly exaggerated comments on what he has been read.

Most of the times, reading becomes very interesting or boring and also the topics can be very valuable and important, so the biased review does not lead to anywhere. I personally therefore recommend that we should use Passive approach and see what we see and comment it does without any feelings for what we read.

The topics are mostly and indeed are usually interesting but due to excessive overcommenting the key theme does not catch eye. Dont celebrate the topic but be realistic and only express what has been done. Whether huge or no literature, we dont need to celebrate it. Whatever has been stated earlier, just describe and sum it up with potential direction of linkages through critical insights being an expert of the field.

Example of celebrating review:

The topic of economic debt and economic growth is of main concern to economists. It has been an important issue in research. The focus is on the relationship between public debt and economic growth. Despite of abundance of literature on the said issue, still disagreement among economists found on the said issue.

Comment: This is no literature review but an overwhelming or significant comment. Avoid such comments everywhere. Instead of that, just write the following:

Standard Format Of Writing Effective Literature Review:

X affects Y because W and X is like this. Then Z determines V when X is blue. Others say, the effect of W on Z is mixed before U is not yet explored.


The language in literature review should be technical without expressing your perceptions and feeling and hence lead your reader to feel what others have said and what you wish to feel. Your standard writing will express all its beauty in your summation of the topic.

Our recommended guide to write effective literature review can be found here.

You can enroll for a private online course in Writing Research Papers or Applied Econometrics here.
You can request complete Thesis Writing Mentorship here.

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