Introduction to the Literature Review in dissertation

This literature review highlighted relevant and contextual literature on the process
of literature reviewing, and the PhD faculty mentoring relationship, as they take place
during the dissertation-writing journey. Foundational background for themes and
concepts that guided this review of literature included: a brief history of the PhD degree
by country and practice; an historical narrative on the use of paradigm structure;
historical references for the use of literature reviews in research; a brief historical
narrative on phenomenological thinking and practitioners; theoretical constructs
describing the use of building the conceptual frames and interpretive strategy for study;
as well as, literature describing PhD mentors, doctoral research, and dissertation.
The selected works for this review and the theoretical framework were collected
from Capella University’s digital library, and searches were made utilizing databases
such as ProQuest, Summon, ERIC, Education Research Complete, academic journal
locators by title, abstract, or topic; Academic Search Premiere, Google Scholar for further
topical leads, in order to locate peer-reviewed articles, chapters, or methodological
academic texts. Search terms included: PhD research, doctoral studies, PhD mentoring,
online doctoral research, phenomenological methods, socio-cognitive learning, paradigm
structure, interpretive strategies, philosophical assumptions, theory of perspective
transformation, qualitative methodology, and a host of others. As part of the method for
this study, journal notes were kept on each reference, and tables with concepts and
themes were presented, along with exemplars filed for later inclusion in chapter 5. The
chapter concluded with synthesis and critique of reviewed literature, as well as offering
original constructs drawn from the theoretical framework for the study. Buy dissertation like this on our site.


Preparation for a dissertation research study necessitates intensive critical reading
of academic and professional literature that is peer-reviewed and appropriate for
inclusion in one’s study. Although historical references to the beginnings of recording
syntheses of literature date back to the 17th and 18th centuries (Booth, Papaioannou, &
Sutton, 2012; Lee, 2013), recent review structures are seen to be more qualitative and
narrative in nature, supportive of grounding a researcher’s argument in the literature
(Booth, 2013; Callahan, 2014; Janesick, 2011; Kennedy, 2007). Reviews for studies
traditionally based upon quantitative methodologies adapted to include qualitative
narrative stories, and identified researcher bias as an accepted feature of qualitative or
mixed methodologies (Janesick, 2011; Lodico, Spaulding, & Voegtle, 2012; Miles &
Huberman, 2010). Community development of systematic literature reviews for various
purposes and subject matter content have evolved for both quantitative and qualitative
methodologies; and, may be thematic, contextual, conceptual, or emergent in focus, while
process-intensive (Aveyard, 2010; Bettany-Saltikov, 2010; Booth, 2012; Knight & Cross,
2012). The Cochrane Collaboration, originally formulated to address medical research
practices, established the systematic review as a normal or widespread procedure for
reviewing mixed methods evidence and analyses (Booth, 2013; Martin, 2014: Mayhew,
2014). Booth (2013) and Booth et al. (2012) presented detailed procedures for conducting
a variety of systematic reviews; while Aveyard (2010) and Bettany-Saltikov (2010) both
utilized systematic review in reporting social science topics. While not specific to the
dissertation literature review requirements, the historical progress for literature reviews of
both qualitative and quantitative methodologies was noted.

Research literature reviewing undertaken by PhD dissertation writers, as a context
in relation to doctoral mentoring guidance, had its beginnings in the German, U.S., U.K.,
and Bologna eras of university formation and PhD degrees (Dominguez, 2013; Lee,
2013; Major & Savin-Baden, 2010; Rosenberg, 1962). When processes and structure for
the degree were legitimized into traditional requirements, a distinction was made from
separating of requirements for master’s degrees into the established PhD with a written
dissertation represented in five chapters. This new criteria began to take shape in the
early 19th century in Berlin’s Humboldt University (Rosenberg, 1962). These programs
first brought American students to Germany for study in the early 1800s, and by 1861
Yale University had started the first American PhD. Next, the PhD degree was adopted
in the Canadian university system during 1900, and soon afterwards, spread to the UK in
1917. Although the UK university systems were already awarding Doctor of Science
(DSc) and Doctor of Literature (DLit) since the 1870s, the PhD degree structure was
agreed upon to include new doctoral coursework in addition to the supervised research
and thesis (Rosenberg, 1962; Simpson, 2009). Finally, Bologna’s nationwide university
system began offering their first PhD at Pisa’s Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa in 1927,
known as a research doctorate (Statuto, 1986).

The histories of universities in Europe’s middle-ages focused upon their
developing from Catholic monastic institutions into scholarly research schools, such as
those of circa 1000s in Italy, France, and Spain. Nearly 800 years in the making, and
predating the era of the first PhD degree, it was beyond the purpose of this study to
elaborate on foundations of universities. Suffice to say that scholarship practice
demonstrated in university teaching work as traditional to international universities,
predated the work of research as a form of scholarship which later became demonstrated
in Italy. The Italian system was the first to award a PhD for research as a separated
doctorate degree from teaching as scholarship (Ferruolo, 1998; Haskins, 1972; Hastings,
1898; Ridder-Symoens, 1992).