Reading For Writing Dissertation – Identifying main Ideas in a Literature

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The first thing in this regard is to find why you intend to read a particular piece of text. Are you reading a partial text to get an overview of it or you are exactly after a particular point? What types of things are you trying to find i.e. arguments, theoretical perspectives, issues or all of these points?


To read the entire piece of a text, no matter it is a small article or a book with more than 100 pages, your focus must by on the few key parts. You could go through the introduction or conclusion of a book, chapter or even part of any article, even sections like abstracts or table of contents or title, you must make sure that you understand all this before you start your session of reading.

Most of the articles also include keywords listed in the beginning, usually right after the abstract which actually informs you what the author considers as the key ideas inside the text.

Reading For Writing Dissertation

Likewise, headings and subheadings have clear clues to the important ideas. Many authors use the first few sentences of a paragraph to explain the topic I order to relate it to the overall argument. Reading these lines can help you in clearly understanding the key ideas/points/issues and complete outline of the argument in a short manner. The figures, diagrams, and tables can also provide you with the guidelines to allow you to extract the key information.

If the text you are reading has an index, it is another useful part that can help you locate the information you have already identified as the key information. However, if you do not still know enough about a certain topic, a quick look across the index can help you to find which entries contain the most page counts for the reason that it can help you to have a sense of what key issues in that text are.

In order to find how different ideas are related to each other, you must figure out how that text is structured. Sometimes the texts have predictable structure, for instance, lab reports. In such type of text produced by UK dissertation services, many parts can easily be identified.

With persuasive and critical texts, it turns out to be more difficult to figure out the structure. There are a number of possibilities like using one structure to contrast or compare, another structure for putting view a point forward, criticize and challenge it and then propose completely different viewpoint.

At a sentence level, the student must be attentive to the phrases and words that link ideas or put transition between them such as the following ones;
  • However
  • Because
  • In addition
  • On the other hand
  • If
You can find many more linking words like these which you can focus while reading. By these transitory words, you can get important information like how the writer sees the relationship between different ideas since one should look for the expression to find the exact attitude of the writer.