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The Importance of Figures and Diagrams in the Literature Review of a Dissertation

Summary– Literature review helps in describing how the proposed dissertation is related to the previous research. If diagrams and figures, graphs and illustrations are used in the literature review, it becomes easier to read and relate.

Literature review in any dissertation holds a lot of importance because of the following reasons:

  • It can describe how your proposed dissertation has relation to previous research statistically.
  • It can show the relevance as well as the originality of the research problems you are working on by specifically showing how your research happens to be different from others.
  • It can justify the methodology you proposed.
  • It also can show that you are prepared to do the research.

A literature review can be greatly enhanced when tables, figures, illustrations and graphs are used to improve in the presentation of the assignment to convey the useful and relevant. What is the need to be unnecessary lengthy, include several paragraphs to the literature rather than depicting it in diagrams and table? Through diagrams and illustrations, you get to reach your reader much more effectively than you have been with written text.

So, how can you make your dissertation’s literature review more effective using diagrams and figures? There are various advantages of constructing a figure and diagrammatical literature review, such as:

  • Enhancing the dissertation presentation if used in moderation and conveys useful and relevant information.
  • Explaining a piece of information through diagrammatic or tabular form easily, rather than using texts of several paragraphs.
  • Just like the written word, if tables and diagrams are adequately referenced, it helps the reader to relate to relevant research much faster and easier.
  • If used for a definite purpose and categorized separately under each sub-heading, they can provide the research work a new dimension.

However, there are certain don’ts, which need to be strictly maintained in while adding diagrams and figures.

  • Never try to present excessive information in any graph or table.
  • Do not place the diagrams and figures anywhere in the text. Place them as close to the text referred as is possible.
  • It is better to list figures and tables in separate areas than making them along with the general indexing of the contents.
  • Don’t use names in representing the tables as well as figures. It is better to enlist them in numbers. For example, ‘according to the findings of table 1,’ or ‘as shown in figure 1.1’ are the right ways of representing the project.
  • Don’t put any kind of space between the texts. Tables need to be double spaced within the text and should be inserted two lines left below and above the text.

While doing your literature review, if you use figures and diagrams, you have to be extremely focused about your topic and include only those diagrams and figures, which are absolutely relevant to the topic. Also find out the style of reference in the paper and the research assignment that is being used in the university and apply exactly the mentioned pattern. Diagrams and figures do not need to justify their margin on the right-hand side. Keep the font size steady throughout the study, ideally, Times New Roman and font size 12.

Properly arranged diagrams and figures in the literature review of the dissertation can actually make the dissertation achieve a better look and earn better grades from the examiner.

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