How to structure your literature study

This is an example of how you can structure your literature study (if you write a quantitative research thesis).

  1. Dependent variable (DV)
    • Give a short introduction of the DV
      1. What is the DV about and why is the variable relevant in general / academics
      2. What is the relevance of the DV for your research
      3. What is the most important literature about the DV
    • What is known in the literature about the DV
      1. Are there different streams of thought about your DV. If so, which ones and how do they differ
      2. What are the most used definitions of the DV, which one suits your research best and why
      3. Which models and theories are available for the DV. How do they differ and what is the added value for this for your research
      4. How is the DV measured in the literature (find articles that have questionnaires to measure our construct) and argue which measurement suits your research best.
  2. Independent variable 1 (IDV1)
    • Give a short introduction of the IDV1
      1. What is the IDV1 about and why is the variable relevant in general / academics
      2. What is the relevance of the IDV1 for your research
      3. What is the most important literature about the IDV1
    • What is known in the literature about the IDV1
      1. Are there different streams of thought about your IDV1. If so, which ones and how do they differ
      2. What are the most used definitions of the IDV1, which one suits your research best and why
      3. Which models and theories are available for the IDV1. How do they differ and what is the added value for this for your research
      4. How is the IDV1 measured in the literature (find articles that have questionnaires to measure our construct) and argue which measurement suits your research best.
    • What is known about the relation between the DV and IDV1
      1. Which relevant literature discusses the relation between DV and IDV1
      2. What are the results of studies that determined the relationship between the DV and IDV1
      3. Is the relationship always in the same direction. If not, why not
      4. What is the relationship you are going to design your hypotheses on and why do you expect that you will observe that relationship
      5. Based on what literature did you express your expectation (hypothesis)
  3. Independent variable 2 (IDV2)
    • Give a short introduction of the IDV2
      1. What is the IDV2 about and why is the variable relevant in general / academics
      2. What is the relevance of the IDV2 for your research
      3. What is the most important literature about the IDV2
    • What is known in the literature about the IDV2
      1. Are there different streams of thought about your IDV2. If so, which ones and how do they differ
      2. What are the most used definitions of the IDV2, which one suits your research best and why
      3. Which models and theories are available for the IDV2. How do they differ and what is the added value for this for your research
      4. How is the IDV2 measured in the literature (find articles that have questionnaires to measure our construct) and argue which measurement suits your research best.
    • What is known about the relation between the DV and IDV2
      1. Which relevant literature discusses the relation between DV and IDV2
      2. What are the results of studies that determined the relationship between the DV and IDV2
      3. Is the relationship always in the same direction. If not, why not
      4. What is the relationship you are going to design your hypotheses on and why do you expect that you will observe that relationship
      5. Based on what literature did you express your expectation (hypothesis)
  4. etc

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