The Literature Review (LR) is a 4-5 page paper that examines academic articles by other researchers on your topic (or other relevant topics). The LR discusses the questions other researchers are asking, summarizes their findings, and compares and evaluates their claims. Purpose: The purpose of the Literature Review is to show that you understand the claims of other researchers on your topic, and to discuss your observations and judgments about what they say. The LR is different from the Background in two main ways: · Different sources: The Background used tertiary sources like encyclopedia articles, textbooks, or magazine articles. These are intended for a general audience and usually do not include original research. The LR uses academic articles written mostly by professional researchers working for universities or government agencies. These sources are much more specialized, more focused, more current, and more likely to contain original research. You will find these sources mostly through Library databases like JSTOR (Links to an external site.) and EBSCO Host (Links to an external site.). · Different goal: Although the LR continues the same topic as your Background, the purpose is different. The Background provided a basic understanding of the topic without considering any specialized or current research. It introduced the major issues and themes the rest of the FRA will focus on. In contrast, the Literature Review uses specialized information, going much deeper into the topic than the background, and considering the claims and findings of current researchers in your field. The LR should use the same question you’ve worked on in your Research Proposal and the Background, and continue to make it clearer, more focused, and more complex. As you work on your LR, you may realize that your focus is changing slightly: maybe a smaller part of your original question seems more important now, or maybe you notice that your attention has shifted to a different aspect of the problem. You should keep revising your question as you work: you can keep altering your question in small ways all the way until you finish revising your Final Research Article at the end of the quarter. Make sure to keep writing down your updated question somewhere you will see it every day. This will help you stay focused as you find sources, collect information, and start thinking about possible answers! After you write and revise your LR, it will become the second of the three main sections of your Final Research Article. The research question and plans for research you describe in the LR Conclusion will form the basis of the last section, the Original Argument. · Be 45 pages long · Be typed and in APA format · Use and cite at least 5 new academic sources · Include a References page · Have four clearly labeled sections: o Introduction (1 paragraph): This section will present the topic of your research and the main themes your Summary and Discussion sections will cover. o Summary (35 paragraphs): This section will collect, organize, and compare information from the sources you find in your research. You can show how their ideas connect or compare with each other, and whether their claims agree or disagree with each other. The tone will be objective, and you will not make any arguments, judgments, or evaluations. o Discussion and Evaluation (35 paragraphs): This section will evaluate the sources you have already discussed in the Summary section. You should discuss the importance of their claims, problems with their research or reasoning, assumptions they may be making, and ideas they may not have considered. o Conclusion (1 paragraph): This section will review what we do and do not know about your topic, clearly state the narrowed research question, and discuss what will come next in the Original Argument. Instructions 1. Research and organize: As with the Background, you should start by identifying keywords you will search for. To start, use important terms that you noticed your Background using. As you start finding sources, pay attention to the terminology they use, and adjust your keywords to match theirs. Since you are looking specifically for academic sources, you should use library databases like JSTOR and EBSCO Host, not Google. For help using these databases, go through the tutorials on the Module 3 Overview. You should take notes and stay organized as you research, just like you did for the Background section. Write down complete bibliographic data for each useful new source as soon as you find it (or save it in Noodle Tools (Links to an external site.)!). Make sure to cite your sources even when you’re taking notes, so you don’t forget where an idea came from. Look out for ideas that seem connected or relevant to the question you are asking, and make notes about them. 2. Summarize: Each paragraph of the Summary section should concentrate on one idea or topic, not on summarizing one source. To do this, read through your notes and look for three or four themes that seem important, and decide how you want to order them. Start with the first theme: o Which sources talk about the theme? o What do they say about it (or, what is their claim)? What evidence do they provide? o How do their ideas connect with each other? How do they agree or disagree? Continue theme by theme for the rest of the Summary section. Your Summary should not be a collection of individual summaries. 3. Evaluate: Use the same themes you chose for your Summary section, in the same order, to organize your Discussion and Evaluation. Just like the Summary, each paragraph should concentrate on one idea or topic, not one source. For these paragraphs, use your own observations, reasoning, and judgment to discuss what the sources are claiming. Start with the first theme you used in your Summary section: o From the sources that mention this theme, what ideas seem especially important to the topic in general? o What ideas seem like they might be important to helping you answer your question? o What ideas, arguments, or methods seem like they might be problematic in some way? o Are there possibilities or ideas related to the theme that none of the sources discuss? o When you look at all the sources that discuss this theme, what new insights do you have about your topic or question? o What new questions are raised by this discussion? Continue theme by theme for the rest of the Summary section. These are not your opinions: they are carefully reasoned judgments. 4. Finish and revise: o Make sure both the Summary and the Discussion and Evaluation section deal with the same themes, in the same order. Make sure the Summary objectively presents and compares your sources ideas, and the Discussion and Evaluation presents the judgments, questions, and insights you gain from comparing your sources. o Write an Introduction that introduces your narrowed research topic. It is the same topic you worked on in the Background, but more focused and complex. You should discuss why this narrowed topic is important (within your academic field(s) or to a wider community), and list the main themes your Literature Review will be discussing within that larger topic. You can include your updated research question or a description of the problem it is based on. o Write a Conclusion: Some parts of your original question may already have been answered, but other parts need to be explored more. First, sum up the relevant information we have learned about your topic as well as what questions remain to be answered. Based on that information, you should present the single, updated research question you want to focus on for the rest of the quarter. Considering the information and ideas you have presented in the Literature Review, explain why this question seems important to ask. It should be a complex question that cannot be answered with a simple yes or no, but that requires a thoroughly reasoned and researched answer. Describe any research you will need to do to be able to answer your question. o Dont forget a References page in APA format! You only need to include the sources you cite in the LR.
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