Literature Review Assignment
A literature review is a descriptive summary of research on a topic that has previously been studied. The purpose of a literature review is to inform readers of the significant knowledge and ideas that have been established on a topic. Its purpose is to compare, contrast and/or connect findings that were identified when reviewing researchers’ work. Oftentimes, literature reviews are written to ground a study in a particular context of what is known about a subject in order to establish a foundation for the topic (or question) being researched.
The purpose of this assignment is to facilitate your abilities to research a topic of study so you can learn to (1) identify and formulate a research question that defines what you’d like to learn, (2) apply your knowledge on reading research that you’ve learned in class, (3) analyze information found in academic journal articles and popular sources, and (4) synthesize new knowledge into a written small-scale literature review.
For this assignment you are asked to complete a small-scale literature review on a social justice topic of your choice. Locate at least 6 resources (3 peer-reviewed journal articles from the social sciences and 3 popular sources) on your topic and write a 4 -6 page literature review selected (minimum 900 words not including references). The paper should use ASA or APA citation format, be doubled-spaced, and a font size of 11 or 12 using Times or Calibri. You can use the ACT-UP criteria to assess popular sources.
Steps to complete your small-scale literature review:
1. Choose a social justice topic that you are interested in studying.
2. Formulate a research question that specifically describes what would like to know about your social justice topic.
3. Use the library resources (library database, research appointment with a librarian, etc.) and other online sources (google, blogs, etc.) to search for and locate resources that include your topic’s information.
4. Find articles, read the abstracts and skim them to determine if they correspond well to your topic AND research question.
5. Select at least 2 journal articles and download them for your project.
6. Read your articles and begin to sort and classify them according to their findings.
7. Organize your sources by sorting and classifying their findings in a meaningful way, always considering your original topic and research question.
8. Write an outline for your literature review, seek feedback (tutor.com, librarian, professor, etc.)
9. Write your review.
Outline for writing your small-scale literature review (please write and hand in):
The introduction is used to establish the context of your review to the reader. To establish the context, it is important to do the following in this opening paragraph:
a. Define the topic of your study and provide any background information that helps your reader to understand the topic.
b. Explain your reason (perspective) for reviewing the literature on this topic.
c. State your research question for this review.
This section of your paper begins with an explanation of how you have organized your literature review and describes findings from sources that provide answers to your research question. Before you begin this section, be sure that you have sorted your sources into different themes based on their findings (sometimes called results). After you sort your sources, it is important to give your sorted groups a descriptive name. The names of the sorted sources will become your headings for each of the paragraphs that you write in the body of your review. To write the body of your literature review, it is important to include the following:
Write an introduction paragraph for the body of your review. This paragraph tells the reader specific information on how many articles you reviewed and how you sorted the articles into common themes based on the findings (results).
This will be a paragraph that describes the first theme that you identified and compare, contrast and/or connect the sources you’ve selected.
This will be a paragraph that describes the second theme that you identified and compare, contrast and/or connect the sources you’ve selected.
This will be a paragraph that describes the third theme that you identified and compare, contrast and/or connect the sources you’ve selected.
This is the last paragraph of your literature review. In this paragraph, it is important to summarize the main findings from the sources that you reviewed and to point out the information that you found particularly important to know that answered the research question that you established in the first paragraph of your review. Try to conclude your paper by connecting your research question back to the context of the general topic of study.
This is the last page of your review. It serves as a listing of all references that you mentioned in your paper. Please use ASA or APA style when completing this list.