Second Language Studies/ESL Dissertation Fundamentals
The following information pertaining to writing a dissertation Literature Review chapter was kindly shared by Dr. John Bitchener, Professor of Applied Linguistics at AUT University in Auckland, New Zealand.
FUNCTIONS OF A LITERATURE REVIEW CHAPTER
- A review of the non-research literature that summarizes and synthesizes background and contextual information.
- A review of theoretical perspectives that underpin or inform your research project.
- A review of the research literature relevant to your study.
- A critique that: (a) identifies arguments for and against issues and controversies related to functions 1-3 above and (b) assesses or weighs up the value of theories, ideas, claims, research designs, methods and conclusions, including an identification of strengths and weaknesses.
- An identification of gaps and shortcomings in this knowledge and research.
- A rationale justifying why the gap was important and significant enough to be filled.
- An explanation of how the design and execution of your research project was informed by steps 1-6 above. This is likely to explain how the literature provided (a) a focus for the research questions or hypotheses that were investigated and (b) guidelines for an appropriate methodology and design.
MAIN MOVES AND SUB-MOVES OPTIONS FOR DISCUSSING THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVES THAT INFORM A RESEARCH PROJECT1. Establish some aspect of the knowledge territory relevant to your research.
A statement about the centrality, importance, or significance of the theme/topic.
A presentation of research evidence (e.g. findings, methodologies)
A presentation of research evidence in relation to move 2a.
An identification of gap(s) in knowledge and/or research.
A continuation or development of a tradition that has been established but not fully investigated.
A presentation of arguments for introducing a new perspective or theoretical framework (as a result of move 1 claims/statement).
An announcement of the theoretical position(s) or framework(s).
An announcement of the research design and processes.
An announcement of how you define concepts and terms in your research.