Preparing for the Literature Review Custom Paper

In Module 1 you identified a research topic of interest and some preliminary questions around that topic. Exploring databases set you on the path to look for, select, and examine existing studies for their relevance and usefulness to your topic. Then you examined them in detail and wrote a critique of one of the articles, looking for strengths and weaknesses and gaps in the research that may have been overlooked. With the annotated bibliography, you selected several relevant articles and not only did you evaluate them, but you also looked at patterns of similarities and differences between how they have presented aspects of your topic and question, continuing to consider how you might refine your research question.

In this assignment, you will attempt to complete a preliminary and preparatory document towards your final literature review. This is a short assignment and need not be more than one-two pages.

The first section of the paper should be an introductory paragraph that states your research question using the relational model; a clear purpose for this assignment; and a map that outlines the patterns/themes you have found so far from the sources you have reviewed.

The second section of the paper (Body) will be an outline of the literature review. To create the outline, examine your selected sources, note the common patterns or themes, and create 3-4 clear headings that reflect the main themes. Next to each theme/heading, cite the sources that indicated this theme. Under each theme, include sub-topics that reflect key points of discussion for that theme. Make sure that the sub topics you include align with their associated headings. These headings and subtopics can then be used as sub-headings and discussion points to structure and organize your literature review in Module 6. Please read the lecture page of this module to understand how you would search for common themes in the literature.
The final section of the paper is a brief conclusion where you would re-state the purpose and map, while broadly summarizing key patterns/themes as they currently exist, noting any gaps and/or suggestions for future research identified by the researcher where your research question could be added to the conversation

Two important concepts/terminology to emphasize here are “literature” and “themes”:
• A single source cannot be termed as “literature”. The Literature refers to major scholarly writings presented on a specific topic. Depending on your discipline and field, “the literature” can include: journal articles, books, published essays, government reports, and so on. The main thing to keep in mind is that “the literature” is the body of scholarly, professional information that is used by researchers working on that topic area. When we refer to a literature review, the implication is an examination and evaluation of a collection of sources relevant to a specific area of research. A well written literature review helps you to establish the rationale for your particular research and provides the framework in selecting a particular research question
• A concept cannnot be designated as a theme if you only come across that perspective in a single source. However, if you see the same or differing opinions/perspectives expressed across numerous articles, then you can identify that perspective as a pattern or a theme.
Review the grading criteria below for additional details on how to structure the content.

By Week 5, day 3 submit your assignment as a Word document to the Discussion Area. Review at least two of your classmates’ submissions by Week 5, day 5, and provide constructive feedback.
Please make sure you review the elements of the grading criteria and associated points carefully and make sure your assignment has addressed all the elements and in enough detail to merit full points.

Assignment 1 Grading Criteria Maximum Points
Wrote an introductory paragraph that stated your research question using the relational model; stated your clear purpose for this assignment; and created a map that named the patterns/themes you have found so far from the sources you have reviewed. 4
Created an outline with headings and subtopics that reflect the main themes found across the selected sources. Provided citations for each of the themes 8
Concluded the assignment by re-stating your purpose and map, while broadly summarizing key patterns/themes as they currently exist, noting any gaps and/or suggestions for future research identified by the researcher where your research question could be added to the conversation 4
Wrote in a clear, concise, and organized manner; demonstrated ethical scholarship in accurate representation and attribution of sources; displayed accurate spelling, grammar, and punctuation. 4
Thoughtfully reviewed at least 2 peers’ submissions, making constructive comments and/or suggestions on their paper’s structure, the development and support of themes and patterns from across the literature. 4
Total: 24

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