- Tom Clark, Tom ClarkLecturer in Research Methods, The University of Sheffield
- Liam FosterLiam FosterSenior Lecturer in Social Policy & Social Work, The University of Sheffield
- and Alan BrymanAlan BrymanProfessor of Organizational and Social Research, Formerly of The University of Leicester
The literature review is a key component of a dissertation. It serves to contextualize the aims and objectives of the project, and in terms of the research process it helps to sensitize issues of interest that the student might want to direct their attention towards when they begin collecting and analysing data. This chapter provides an introduction to the literature review and examines its purpose in relation to the research process. Beginning with a short exploration of the nature of a literature review and its relationship with theory, the chapter goes on to examine the different types of review before detailing the key content. By the end of the chapter, students should have a good understanding of the role of the literature review in research and how it informs every aspect of the research process.