English 201: Literature Review Assignment
What is a Literature Review?
According to “Writing the Literature Review” (), “By writing a literature review, you are entering into an academic conversation about an issue. You need to show that you understand what research has already been done in your field and how your own research fits into it.”
Why do we write a Literature Review?
This assignment gives you practice in entering the academic conversation on the issue you are researching this quarter. This assignment gives you the opportunity to provide an overview of the relevant issues, problems, trends, or arguments that you have noted in the research articles on your topic. The review need not be exhaustive, but should feature the relevant scholarly research.
How do you write a Literature Review?
A successful literature review will summarize and discuss the research you have read about in six scholarly, peer-reviewed journal articles. To access this very specific type of article, you will need to search an EWU Library database such as Academic Search Complete, ProQuest, JSTOR, or a more discipline-specific database like PsycINFO, Business Source Complete, or other appropriate databases. A literature review is typically organized by topic, which can be difficult for first-time writers of this type of assignment, so you are encouraged instead to follow the instructions in the Instructions for Writing section of this assignment prompt.
Important Requirements for this Assignment:
Before writing: Realize that scholarly journal articles are rich in information and can be difficult to read. Some articles pack as much information into ten pages as a book does in a hundred or more! Therefore, read journal articles with a strategy, as in this video tutorial:
Instructions for Writing:
The format in this assignment will vary somewhat significantly from the type of literature review often found in scholarly journals in which a writer synthesizes a review topic by topic, which is not an easy task and often one that first-time literature reviewers find exceedingly difficult (you’re not just writing a new type of assignment but also reading some pretty complex articles, so let’s do what we can to make sure we’re all successful in this assignment!). Please follow the instructions for organizing your literature review listed below :
One of the most important elements of a literature review is synthesis.
Assessment: This assignment is worth 10% of the course grade, so be sure to turn in your best work. As I read and grade your literature review, I will consider the following key areas:
Each of these criteria will be considered as follows:
Excellent Good Satisfactory Needs Work Unacceptable
Grades will consider all these criteria holistically and will be determined on the 0-4 scale and converted to a percentage. If, for example, the assignment is graded 3.2, the grade will be recorded on Canvas as 87%, which is a B+.
Scholarly journals are also called academic, peer-reviewed, or refereed journals. Strictly speaking, peer-reviewed (also called refereed) journals refer only to those scholarly journals that submit articles to several other scholars, experts, or academics (peers) in the field for review and comment. These reviewers must agree that the article represents properly conducted original research or writing before it can be published.
What to look for?
Scholarly journal articles often have an abstract, a descriptive summary of the article contents, before the main text of the article.
Scholarly journals generally have a sober, serious look. They often contain many graphs and charts but few glossy pages or exciting pictures.
Scholarly journals always cite their sources in the form of footnotes or bibliographies. These bibliographies are generally lengthy and cite other scholarly writings.
Articles are written by a scholar in the field or by someone who has done research in the field. The affiliations of the authors are listed, usually at the bottom of the first page or at the end of the article–universities, research institutions, think tanks, and the like.
The language of scholarly journals is that of the discipline covered. It assumes some technical background on the part of the reader.
The main purpose of a scholarly journal is to report on original research or experimentation in order to make such information available to the rest of the scholarly world.
Many scholarly journals, though by no means all, are published by a specific professional organization.
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