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Literature Review

Assignment overview
You will complete a 600-1000 words literature review in which you discuss four of the most relevant sources in your research. You will complete an MLA-formatted works cited page.

Assignment Preparation and Process

you will summarize the prominent “conversations” about your research topic and analyze how these ideas inform your argument, but it differs in sophistication. The key here is to look for connections between your sources and write about them in conjunction with one another. Think about the salient points of the authors. How are the authors’ points similar to one another? On what do they differ?

remember:
a. A lit review requires a synthesis of different subtopics to come to a greater

understanding of a larger issue. Like a jigsaw puzzle, the pieces (main points of the argument) must be put together to reveal the whole.

b. Use the knowledge you have gained from class to summarize, paraphrase, and directly quote where appropriate. Use attributive tags to introduce your sources and indicate all summarized, paraphrased, and quoted material.

c. Keep your own voice out of the literature review. In most genres of writing, your voice should come across to the reader. The literature review, however, is about the opinions of others—not your opinion.

1. To get started, first choose four of the most relevant sources in your research thus far( the sources you will use are in the attachment matrix). As you are researching, look into the bibliographies of the articles you have found. Who seems to be a prominent author/researcher associated with your topic? To whom do other authors and researchers often refer to in their own studies? What sources were particularly helpful to further your working thesis? What sources might be in disagreement with your working thesis?

2. Introduction: Include your working thesis statement. Remember, this is a working thesis and may change as you continue your research.

3. Establish main points. For instance, if you’re researching the effectiveness of viral videos, you could have three main points: 1. Viral videos are effective when the ad is not the focus of the

video, 2. When the video becomes viral naturally, and 3. When the ad embedded in the video relates to the target audience

4. use the synthesis matrix (see attachment).

5. Body: Use the information gathered in the matrix to organize your lit review Also keep the following questions in mind as you write your literature review in paragraph form.

  1. What seem to be the gaps or unanswered questions in his research and/or conclusions? In other words, what does he not address or seem to dismiss or ignore that you think is relevant?
  2. How does this particular source fit into what has already been said? What is its relationship to the other sources? For example, does it build on the work of another author? Does it answer a question raised at the end of another source?
  3. As you read the sources, what seem to be the overall patterns that emerge? For example, what seems to be common knowledge among the authors?
  4. Do the authors address different perspectives on the same question?
  5. Do they come to similar conclusions?
  6. In other words, what kind of picture can you get about the authors’ conversation?

6. Conclusion: You may conclude with a short summary, though this is not necessary.

Formatting your literature review

You should use MLA documentation style to cite your research sources in your literature review. Refer to Jeff Howard’s essay on MLA guidelines and the various online sources for information about this documentation style. The OWL at Purdue is a good one (owl.english.purdue.edu).

  • I will use the following criteria to grade your lit review:
    •   You have chosen four relevant sources
    •   You have used the synthesis matrix
    •   You include a thesis statement as introduction
    •   You discuss the sources in conjunction with each other. You are not merely summarizing sources as separate entities.
    •   You include a works cited page in MLA format
    •   You use proper grammar, punctuation, and spelling
    •   Your review is organized appropriately

      again, use the attachment matrix and find the research question and the sources in it and use them in the essay, don’t use any other unnecessary sources.

 

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