Dissertation Chapter 2: Literature Review

Restate the problem and the purpose.
Provide a concise synopsis of the current literature that establishes the relevance of the problem.
Preview major sections of the chapter.
Literature Search Strategy
List accessed library databases and search engines used.
List key search terms and combinations of search terms (with more detailed search terms located in an appendix if appropriate).
Describe the iterative search process by explaining what terms were used in what database to identify germane scholarship.
In cases where there is little current research and few (if any) dissertations and conference proceedings, describe how this was handled.
Theoretical Foundation (As appropriate)
Name the theory or theories.
Provide the origin or source of the theory.
Describe major theoretical propositions and major hypotheses, including delineation of any assumptions appropriate to the application of the theory.
Provide literature and research-based analysis of how the theory has been applied previously in ways similar to the current study.
Provide the rationale for the choice of this theory.
Describe how and why the selected theory relates to the present study and how the research questions relate to, challenge, or build upon existing theory.
Conceptual Framework (As appropriate)
Identify and define the concept/phenomenon.
Synthesize primary writings by key theorists, philosophers, and seminal researchers related to the concept or phenomenon.
Provide key statements and definitions inherent in the framework.
Describe how the concept or phenomenon has been applied and articulated in previous research and how the current study benefits from this framework.
Literature Review Related to Key Variables and Concepts

Provide an exhaustive review of the current literature that includes the following information:

Describe studies related to the constructs of interest and chosen methodology and methods consistent with the study’s scope.
Describe ways researchers in the discipline have approached the problem and the strengths and weaknesses inherent in their approaches.
Justify from the literature the rationale for the selection of the variables or concepts.
Review and synthesize studies related to the key concepts and/or phenomena under investigation to produce a description of what is known about them, what is controversial, and what remains to be studied.
Review and synthesize studies related to the research questions and why the approach selected is meaningful.
Summary and Conclusions
Concisely summarize major themes in the literature.
Summarize what is known and what is not known in the discipline related to the topic of study.
Describe how the present study fills at least one of the gaps in the literature and will extend knowledge in the discipline.
Provide transitional material to connect the gap in the literature to the methods described in chapter 3.