Literature Review Example Dissertation Defense

Writing a Short Literature Review
Topic 4: Literature Review

In this activity, you will read through a worked example of a short literature review. Notice that the topic is addressed, including the specific variables. Although your literature review will be comprised of more than three articles, notice the processes involved (process development is color-coded in the PDF).

As you draft your Literature Review sections, consider the following:
  • Be able to write a single paragraph summary of the article. A typical journal article will be between 10-20 pages. Your job is to be able to extrapolate and articulate the key findings in a short and succinct manner.
  • Once you have written a few summaries of articles, you must decide on the order in which you will present them.
  • The ordering isn't random—there should be a logical rationale behind your choices.
  • Write paragraph introductions, conclusions, and transitions within and between paragraphs
  • Write section introduction and conclusion paragraphs.
Draft an Article Summary Paragraph (3-4 of these will become your Short Literature Review).

Create an order for your paragraph summaries (try this with just 3-4 paragraphs that relate). You have now created a draft of a Short Literature Review.

Revise your Short Literature Review to include paragraph introductions, conclusions, and transitions.

Remember, this activity is essentially repeated for the various topics, variables, and concepts that you will review in your overall literature review. Before you begin to write your Literature Review for the dissertation, be sure to watch the video in this activity and read the supporting documents. This will help you track and organize your articles as the number of sources increases.

Worked Example Writing a Short Lit Review (pdf)
Worked Example of a Lit Review Chart (.xls)
Chapter 2 Article Summary  (.doc)

There are 2 ways to access NYMC dissertations, Master’s theses or literature reviews:

1)Use the library catalog, NYMCat, linked from the library homepage. Select Advanced Search. Change the index labeled “Keyword” to “Subject”. Type "dissertations, academic" in the search box.

In the second search box type “new york medical college”.

To narrow results further you can try using the name of the school or department in a third search box, but keep in mind that these names have changed over the years and not all theses are indexed with them. You may also add a topic search term, either as a subject search or the default keyword search.

Electronic Theses: Some theses are available electronically. To search for these only, use "dissertations, electronic" as the subject phrase in step 1.

2) The Reference collection holds binders of thesis title pages that you may browse. The title page gives the title and author name. 

Note: Theses cannot be removed from the library, but may be scanned or copied. Theses are shelved in closed stacks. To see print copies, provide author and title information at the Access Services Desk or call (914) 594-4200 to arrange to email this information ahead of time, so that theses will be waiting for you. 


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