How long does it take to write a literature review?

how long does it take to write a literature review

It doesn’t have to take long, but what is the cost?

24 hours.

Next question please.

What, you would like some explanation? It seems like I’ve just plucked this number out of the air? How rude, I would never do something like that. Maybe I should be more specific. It will take 24 hours for 250 words for a PhD quality literature review. Oh and did I mention it will cost you £30 ($48 US).

That’s right, for this tiny price you could get your literature review written for you! If your review needs to be more in depth then just pay for more words. You’ll even get a percentage discount the more you spend. Sounds great right?

Yes, it is great

Ok before you start thinking I’ve lost my mind I am not actually suggesting that you have someone else write your literature review for you. In fact, although I have discussed paying for people to proof read your writing (which can be a good idea) I am totally AGAINST paying for other people to write your work. So just to be clear…

DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES PAY FOR SOMEONE ELSE TO WRITE YOUR LITERATURE REVIEW. IN MY VIEW THIS IS PLAGIARISM, CHEATING AND IMMORAL. NOT ONLY THIS BUT YOU LEARN NOTHING FROM IT AND YOU WILL FAIL TO DEVELOP AS A WRITER AND AN ACADEMIC IF YOU PAY SOMEONE TO DO YOUR WORK FOR YOU.

So why did I even bring it up? and why is it great?

Well people ask all the time how long should a literature review take and I always have to respond with a less than helpful “it depends”. Well I didn’t realise that you can genuinely type “Buy literature review” into Google and find a vast array of companies who promise to write your doctoral literature review in 24 hours. Granted this is only 250 words but if you could have 250 words of your finished literature review done (with all the references formatted in the style of your choosing) in 24 hours then I reckon you’d be happy. I know that I would be. This is great because the people writing in this short time frame will have no background in your work, they only thing they have that you may not have is speed searching for and reading articles (they maybe able to type faster but this is negligible for 250 words). You may try and argue that their writing would be of a better standard – it maybe but this doesn’t matter. Quality and style is in the eye of your audience (and only them!) whether it be your supervisor or a peer review panel. Until they have seen it then you don’t know how they will judge the quality. Just because you have paid to get something written it doesn’t mean the style will be right for your audience.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is if they can do it in 24 hours, then why can’t you? You’re bound to be starting out with more background than they are and even if you’re not, it won’t take you that much longer than…

…hang on a minute,

It of course takes less than 24 hours to write 250 words, it’s not like they would be working round the clock to get it finished. In fact, if it’s done in a normal working day then it would take only 8 hours to write 250 words! Even better right? but…

…hang on a minute

If one person is writing it and the minimum wage in the UK is about £6 and they are charging £30 for 250 words, then it must only take them 5 hours to do it. Of course someone writing a doctoral literature review will not be paid the minimum wage. If we conservatively say they get paid twice that much then they are writing your literature review in 2 and a half hours. That is going from having ZERO background to finishing 250 words, with all the references formatted in less than 2.5 hours!

These people are not superhumans but the have learned some skills and attributes that make this feat possible. I’ve just made a report about what these attributes are. It’s in the literature review toolbox which you can access by signing up to the email list.

  • http://twitter.com/fionacollard Fiona Collard

    There are a few of us weird ones about who enjoy the literature review so much that we want it to take forever!

    • http://www.literaturereviewhq.com/ Ben

      That’s fantastic! I enjoy it now but I certainly didn’t used to!

  • drpolly

    Thank you. This is really inspirational.

  • jt

    hello, I’ve come across this post in searching for how much to charge to write a literature review for a client ( an organization). I’ve given them an hourly rate but I’m wondering how many hours I should say it will take . can you givehow me some ideas of guidelines I should use, e.g. maybe based on how many hits I get when I put in the search terms?