What Is Literature Review Matrix? 7 Important Steps To Follow

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What Is Literature Review Matrix? 7 Important Steps To Follow
Post By The Academic Papers On 20, Sep

The literature review matrix is one of the most important sections of the dissertation, though many of you might read it for the very first time. No worries, no one can become a master overnight. It will not take as much time to get mastery over the using review matrices. Simply, it includes the difference in methodology, implementation and research question/ hypothesis. Furthermore, it is the compilation of theories, sources and conclusions. This matrix includes the author’s name and data, so you can easily convey to the reader how different authors have worked on a single problem by targeting different methods and other features. Let’s have a detailed discussion on the literature review matrix.

What Is The Purpose Of Writing A Literature Review Matrix?

Mainly why you really want to conduct a literature review matrix depends on students’ personalised research goals. As a matter of course, it is devised to help you quickly compare different but relevant articles to help highlight contrasting ideas. It helps you to find the scope of your own unique research ideas across time. All in all, if someone asks you to tell him the purpose of writing a literature review matrix, then your answer, in quite simple words, must be, ‘ it is the act of finding the similarities and differences between the journal’s articles for making an educated guess about the scope of a research topic’.

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What Are The Steps To Follow While Writing A Literature Review Matrix?

The following are the important steps which make the literature review matrix effective:

Author/ Date

As you have to collect Literature relevant to the problem of your study, it can be from different authors. It is not possible that you will get a discussion on every aspect from a single author. So, there is a column with the author’s name. In the same column, you have to mention the publication date.

This column also helps the reader to know about credible writers and their research work. The author’s credibility is one of the most important aspects that cannot be neglected. Suppose you have collected data from a relevant study. You find it suitable to address and mention, but research tells you that author is not credible and does not have a good reputation in the research world. In this way, you are supposed to discard his study. On the other hand, the publication data helps the reader know about the gap in terms of years.

Theoretical/ Conceptual Framework

Whether you write a master’s or doctoral dissertation, a theoretical framework is essential. This theoretical framework will help get a clear idea about the research methodology of a dissertation. Its reason is that a theoretical and methodological framework of a dissertation relies on the work done in your subject area.

A conceptual framework is also important in some research studies, which helps you deal with many challenges. When working on the literature review, you must be clear about the difference between theoretical and conceptual frameworks. Most novel researchers mix these two frameworks and cause problems conveying the right information.

In the literature review matrix, you must add the column on theoretical/ conceptual framework next to the column on author/ date. You have to be brief while adding information to this column. Do not add long details but mention the crux in two lines.

Also Read This: What is Thematic Analysis? Advantages and Disadvantages

Research Question/ Hypothesis

The third step of writing a literature review matrix is about the research question or hypothesis. In the column heading, you have to add both things. The research work is full of challenges which do not let every student score high. If a student is struggling with research work, he/she must get the right information about research requirements. From the start of research to the end, a one-directional path can help you achieve your dream. One of the most important aspects of research is the main question. There can be one or multiple research questions in a single study, designed based on the main desires and supplies. Similarly, there must be a hypothesis if the research question is absent. When making a matrix, you must collect research questions or hypotheses from selected studies.


The fourth column and step are about mythology. Research methodology is a method of describing the process of how a researcher plans to conduct research. The methodology section in a thesis or dissertation allows the reader to check the validity of the research. It enables the reader to understand how you have collected data for your research. While writing your methodology, keep your discussion clear and use past tense. In a matrix, mention the type of methodology and add one line description.

Analysis And Results

In the literature review matrix, you have to make a fifth column with the name of the analysis and results. A very brief discussion is made to mention the analysis technique. You have to try your best to complete a discussion on analysis in one line. Just keep in your mind that everything needs to be to the point. Similarly, the results have to be there in the analysis section. You can find many studies having more than one result. You can make bullet points to address them.

Also Read This: How to Use the Right Statistical Test for Hypothesis Testing?


In the case of conclusion, the literature review matrix again demands direct conversation. The conclusion becomes easy to address if a particular study has a hypothesis. On the other hand, the study’s conclusion, which has a research question, is also not a big deal. You can also ask for some services, such as dissertation help online, to share samples of the literature review matrix.

Implementations For Future Research And Practice

You can use two different columns for it or adjust it in one column. This step helps to motivate the reader for further exploration.

For more deep understanding, let’s take an example of a literature review matrix.

Example Of Literature Review Matrix:

For example, if your area of interest is to enhance neuroregeneration in various neurodegenerative diseases, then the literature review matrix will be as follows:

Author/Date Theoretical/Conceptual Framework Research Question/Hypothesis Methodology Analysis And Results Conclusion Future research perspectives Implications for putting into practice
Richard J E Armstrong And Roger A Barker In vivo/in vitro analysis of the neural stem cells using animal models or culture mediums to see their proliferation, including migration and differentiation. Main hypothesis: Primary deficits occur in neural stem cells proliferation, including migration and differentiation that collectively contribute to the neuronal circuit disruption in most neurodegenerative diseases. Experimental pieces of evidence were collected to  understand the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases Immunohistochemistry analysis was performed to find the deficits in the neural stem cells Experimental validation of the hypothesis reveals the role of deficits in the neural stems cells’ proliferation  in the onset of neurodegenerative diseases  The postulated role of neural stem cells in the onset or pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases is proven.  These neural cells can be used to treat some of the neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s diseases By enhancing the proliferation of neural stem cells, net cell loss or neural circuit disruption can be controlled to increase recovery in patients suffering from any of these degenerative neural diseases.

This example applies the literature review matrix on my research goals. Now, it’s your turn to use them to collect all the necessary information relevant to your research goals.

Common FAQs about Literature Review Matrix:

What Are The Parts Of The Literature Review Matrix?

By keenly reviewing this article, you yourself can easily answer to this question. Traditionally, there are five simple parts of a literature review matrix, including author name, theoretical or conceptual framework, hypothesis or research questions, methods, analysis or results, and conclusion. Moreover, it is up to you to add as many columns and rows as you want. The columns highlighting the future research implications and practice can also be added to the literature review matrix. Apart from this, adding a cell to give the original reference of a study is also a good idea.

What Are The Qualities Of A Good Literature Review Matrix?

Before highlighting the qualities of a good Literature review matrix, it is important to quickly review what a good literature review asks you to do. The simple rule to access the quality of the review is to ensure whether it comprises all articles explaining all recent trends in research. Additionally, it must clearly depict the strengths and weaknesses of all studies used in the review. To put it another way, a critical appraisal of all the widely scattered pieces of information collected so far is necessary to write a quality literature review.

Keeping in view the qualities of a good literature review, the best literature review matrix refers to the one that compiles all notable research articles in a clear and precise manner. Remember, a good review matrix is the one that is short, concise, well researched and to the point. However, a deep understanding of the subject-related theories and concepts is required to clearly fill all columns of the literature review matrix.

Can A Literature Review Matrix Be Used To Define Research Methodology?

Different steps of the research process are interconnected, and each proceeding sets the stage for the upcoming one. Developing a literature review matrix at the very early stage of research allows us to know about all the latest technologies and trends used to solve similar mysteries in the remote past. Once you know how other scholars out puzzles together, giving a nudge to your thoughts in the right direction will not remain a big deal. Therefore, yes literature review matrix is extremely important to make you aware of all recent research trends and devise your own research methodology.

Why Does One Need To Use The Review Matrix?

Why do you need to use a literature review matrix, even though the same purpose can also be achieved by conducting a simple review of literature; this is another research query that might also disturb you. No doubt both of these academic writing tasks have more or less similar roles, in the longer goal. However, like all other types of matrices, review matrixes are also designed to help you better organise your thoughts, especially when many ideas blow into your mind simultaneously. Let’s make things easy for you. Simply, the review matrix helps you clearly define all collected ideas; extremely important to keep your eyes on the research methodologies and add only relevant content in pointers form (to avoid all unnecessary details).

Concluding Lines

The main purpose of making a literature review matrix is to determine the scope and other details of research in an easy way. When you add information in one matrix, it becomes super easy to highlight the differences. The points mentioned above can help you effectively write this matrix. Follow the same sequence and add to-the-point information in each column. If you are still facing any issues, you can hire the best writers for The Academic Papers UK by clicking here.