As a student begins the process of writing the dissertation, acquiring a number of samples can prove very useful in elucidating the proper style and format of each section. A sample literature review, for instance, will be very helpful in showing the student the characteristics of a successful literature review.
Sample literature reviews can be found in the library. The student can speak with the reference librarian about locating dissertations within the student's field. The student may even be able to locate sample dissertations written by students in the same department, or by faculty at the university. The sample literature reviews found here will give the student examples of the precise formatting that has been well-received at the university.
Sample literature review formatting guidelines are also available within the style guide that is appropriate in the student's field. Checking the style manual, or style information that can be found on the Internet, will provide sample literature review examples with respect to the proper formatting and citation of the literature review.
Almost every research paper a student reads in his or her coursework and in preparation for the dissertation will include a literature review. Thus, a student will be able to find a sample literature review by checking the papers that have been assigned in classes the student has completed as well as any current classes the student is enrolled in.
When studying a sample literature review, the student should note the style of writing that is used. In general, it will be obvious from the sample literature reviews that the student should avoid the passive voice whenever possible and use the active voice. For instance, a student will always want to write that the "researchers conducted a study" rather than "a study was conducted by the researchers." In addition, the student will want to pay attention to citations of sources as they are formatted in the sample literature review, as the student will want to cite his or her sources in the same way in his or her own literature review.