moving beyond description


Hi all,

I'm having a bit of a crisis with my thesis at the moment. I know the general model is literature review where you introduce the concepts and theoretical framework, then your methodology, then analysis, then discussion and conclusion.

I'm a bit confused about the literature review/theoretical framework. My sup keeps saying I'm too descriptive in my approach and I need to critique more, but as far as I can see it, I've done my best to look at all the different angles and approaches to certain aspects of my study, compare and contrast then evaluate which one I'm going with and why. I don't really know what else I can do :-( I'm going on to fully evaluate the current literature in the discussion with what I've found, what other people have found and what this means. Is this completely wrong?! Is there something else I can do? I've tried to avoid sounding like a textbook but I don't understand how you're supposed to talk about other people's work without describing it?!

Any advice at all greatly appreciated!

Avatar for Batfink27

Hi Lindalou

I'm not really sure, so feel free to ignore me! But it sounds like you've got everything in place, it might just be where the emphasis lies in the work. With my literature review, I've done what you've described, but rather than focusing on what I'm going to do for my research I've looked at the various approaches to my topic, the themes and concerns coming through the whole literature, the debates and key issues, other studies using the approach I've chosen, and then gaps in the literature that I'll address. It's more a discussion and exploration of where the field is thematically, leading logically to why I'm doing my study, rather than setting out the options and drilling directly towards what my study will use.

Not sure that's a very clear answer, or much help at all, unfortunately! Good luck with it anyway.


That is helpful, thank you Batfink! (up)


Hi, Have you looked at Critical Reading and Writing for Postgraduates by Mike Wallace and Alison Wray ? I find their structure for critical analysis really helpful.


I haven't but I will, thank you!