======= Date Modified 28 Jul 2011 01:44:15 =======
I heard the average is around six inches, which, in my personal experience, is unrealistic.
Oh wait, sorry, different question about length.
I think the first thing to ask is: what subject are you in?
Other than that, generally speaking, 18,000 is a bit long for a literature review, it would kind of suggest that you were unable to concisely explain the important works from the literature. However (said quite emphatically) about 20-24k words in my thesis are literature review, but organised into two chapters and covering two very different themes.
Edited to add joke about my own small penis size.
I had two lit review chapters, and they were about 10k each.... so about the same as yours, only split into two areas, first one covered the data collection method side of the topic, and the second dealt with the data analysis side of things.
Is your 18K all in one chapter?
my lit review chapter in particular is long; too long in my eyes but there you go. It's about 21,000 words, in three discrete sections. It was 16,000 words in my first draft and gradually creept up and up. 18,000 is probably on the longish side but sounds okay.
======= Date Modified 28 Jul 2011 10:51:35 =======
I'm in social sciences and my lit review is about 14000, but I've got an intro chapter which is setting out the key stats etc behind the 'issue' I'm looking at which is 2,000 and then I have a methods chapter, which actually has no methods in it - its actually a review of the theoretical approaches to studying my area and then a bit of literature about how hard it is to research in my area (Yes, covering my back a bit lol) that's 8,000 so all in all, I have....24,000 (is that right?) words before I get to the first empirical bit (which incidentally has its own mini lit review)
ETA - but if this is your first draft then keep it long - My first load of writing added up to about 45,000 words and I've been able to go back to that and pick out bits to make my final lit review - its been very useful! and I've just written my discussion by going back to it too.
Thank you everyone for the responses, I feel loads better about it..I take on board what you say sneaks .. its my first draft so I will leave it as is....
by the way would it be really strange if I had my theoretical framework first? The reason is that alot of my 'new contribution' to my field in this research is tied to how I have implemented the framework??????????:-)
Again I am ever so grateful for the advise (up)
======= Date Modified 28 Jul 2011 11:06:56 =======
you mean in the introduction? No, I don't think it would be strange, good in that it will make it clear how you are approaching your topic. Will you re-visit in the lit review? If so, just make sure you don't repeat yourself. I know science theses do things differently to us social scientists but you probably don't want your intro to be overly theoretical at the expense of setting the context, rationale etc.
If you look in the books about thesis construction they seem to suggest that all the chapters should be about the same length, which is what I am aiming at, although all the ones I have at the moment are over that, but I will prune! So, take the number of chapters you have and divide them by your word count. That should give you the number of words you should be aiming at. your chapter does seem long, can you divide it into two? As there is a lot of literature in the body of my thesis, I have followed the ideas of Hart (Doing a literature review) and have concentrated on the mechanics of the literature selection, where I started from and initial ideas and searches, what I chose, how I limited the material if there was too much (not a big problem with my topic, finding anything was quite hard!) and selected the material I used, where the info came from and why, why I rejected some stuff that might be considered useful, some of the limitations of the material I included. for example one of the major works that would probably be considered as one of the most important in my particualr field has only a few paragraphs about my actual subject dotted throughout its 3000plus pages so although it is useful for locating my work, it has little to contribute to my argument, except to prove that it is anoverlooked area and worthy of study. I've included why the material chosen would produce a rounded picture of the material available. Mine is an ongoing process though as I'm doing it chapter by chapter, so maybe not the same as your approach, but if you use too many words for your review, you will limit the number you have to spend on the rest of your thesis to show your contribution to knowledge.
Friends, I have a similar concern. It would be kind of you if you could suggest something on this: I am in Humanities and Social Sciences.
Introduction: 4,000 words; background:6,000 words; Theoretical Framework: 15,000; Relevant literature around the topic:7,500 before starting the Methodology Chapter. Thereafter 5 analysis chapters and one conclusion chapter. At the moment, my worry is my analysis chapter starts at the page number 101. Should I count all the chapters except Introduction as Literature Review? If I leave the Background chapter, then also it comes around 23,000 words of Literature Review !
I asked my supervisors and they did not say any problem with it but I myself feel odd here and bit worried. Swetch
Wow I have no idea how many pages mine is....runs off to check! (awaits word freaking out at document combining!)
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