In this course, students will write a substantive literature review. Please see the links below for more information: Writing Resources Literature Review Instructions In 3-4 sentences, please report a
Literature Review Instructions

This page describes the main writing assignment of this course. Students will work on it over the entire semester.

Students in this course will write a a substantive literature review on a topic related to psychology. That is, most of your research articles for this literature review should come from peer-reviewed psychology journals. It is also important that this literature review be unique. Thus, if you have written a similar style of paper for another class, you should not use the exact same topic here (this will also help you avoid the academic dishonest behavior turning in the same work for two different grades). The literature review must be at least 8 pages of text and include at least 10 references.

Literature reviews do more than summarize an area of research. They synthesize information and evaluate research in a particular area. Literature reviews are difficult and time consuming, but by the end of the semester you should have the tools you need to complete this endeavor. Below I provide additional information about these assignments.

Writing the literature review

To begin the literature review, first chose a topic. Your topic should be current, well studied, and specific. Make sure it sufficiently narrow so that you can review the research on it thoroughly.

Find scholarly research articles on your topic (these must come from primary, scholarly sources only; most of your sources should be empirical peer-reviewed journal articles). Evaluate each article your find in terms of its currency. Decide if the publication is outdated (is it an important “classic” study or is it just old?) and if the publication meets the need of your topic and paper. Is it relevant? Does the article provide new information about your topic

Students should use articles published in the last 5 to 10 years. Older papers should be avoided unless they are “classic” or “important” papers on the topic. “Classic” papers are those that seem to be cited by everyone else in the field or research area.

Summarize and analyze each article. Paraphrase important content. Paraphrase the main claims and the main evidence used to support the claims. Take your time with each article (re-read it several times) to make sure you understand it well and can explain it in your own words.

It is common for students to read a empirical article 3 times before feeling comfortable enough to write about it in their own words.

Synthesize the content. Once you fully understand all of your source material, organize your knowledge by topic or subtopic. Draw connections and correlations between the various research studies. Examine points of contradiction and hypothesize the reasons for these discrepancies. Be skeptical of the claims presented—does the evidence support each claim? Your paper should be organized by ideas, claims, or arguments.

Write the review.

Include an introduction and body

Provide a context by defining general topics or issues

Explain the organization of the review and why certain literature is not included in your review

Discuss trends in what has been published about the topic

Discuss disagreements in theory, methodology, evidence, and conclusions

Discuss gaps in the research

Include conclusions that provide insight into the relationship between topics of the review and the larger area of study

The literature review format

Write the review using APA style formatting

Include a title page, abstract, body (with heading and subheadings only as needed for organization), and reference section

Include at least 10 references in the reference section

The length of this review should be more than 8 but less than 15 pages of text (this excludes the title page, abstract, and references). To achieve this length, streamline your paper and make sure you state your ideas simply and succinctly.

Keep in mind

Your literature review should

Place your study in the context of other work that has already been done in the field

Inform the reader about the main theories in the area or field

It may establish the need for the future research by identifying gaps in knowledge

Do’s and don’ts for your literature review

Do

Organize your paper before you begin writing

Provide strong transitions between the discussion of one idea and another (e.g., transitional statements help the reader follow your line of thought and create “flow” throughout the paper [see Mitchell, Jolley, & O’Shea, 2013, pp. 18-19])

Reference appropriately (please see Mitchell, Jolley, & O’Shea text)

Write well and see someone in the success center or smart thinking if you need help

Don’t

Simply paraphrase an existing literature review

Use more than one or two quotes in the entire paper

Rely heavily on secondary sources (use primary articles published in peer reviewed scholarly journals)

Include anecdotal information

Discuss each article separately as if writing an abstract on each

Course assignments: A number of assignments have been designed to help you review topics from previous courses and complete the scholarly papers.

Assignments to help you complete the literature view.

Week: assignment

1: APA assignment

2: Information literacy assignment (there are two of these assignments. First you’ll locate and list a lot of citations related to your topic and second, you’ll go through the initial list carefully and discard those that won’t work for your purposes). *

2: Plagiarism assignment*

2: Summarize an article*

3: Provide a final reference list

4: Write a literature review justification and outline

6: Turn in literature review draft for review (optional)

*Each of these activities requires that students demonstrate competence or mastery before he or she may continue in the course. These activities help ensure that only those who are ready to complete the course are able to move forward. If a student fails to gain mastery on these assignments, he or she should seek tutoring, and spend more time on the course or considering dropping and retaking the course when he or she has more time to commit to study and practice.

Plagiarism

Students who chose to plagiarize will earn a zero on their paper and risk failure in the course. The turn-it-in software where students will upload their paper will alert the instructor of any sentences or phrases that closely match published work. Remember, to avoid plagiarism you should ensure that you have written your report in your own words. Each sentence that you create should bear little to no resemblance to the reports you read. If you must quote text do so sparingly and be sure to enclose quotes in quotation marks (and cite page numbers). It is expected that students in this class have mastered the ability to write about psychology. Thus, plagiarism in any form will not be tolerated. Instances of plagiarism will be documented, sent to the Dean of Students, and placed on student’s permanent record. I will contact you and ask that you acknowledge the receipt/sign a document regarding the instance of plagiarism. Students who plagiarize risk failure in the course.

Suggestions for success:

Write. Rest. Revise. Repeat. I recommend completing these assignments early and then letting them “rest” before you revise them. Two to three days after you complete a draft, read it, revise it and improve it. No one writes brilliantly on the first draft. Brilliant writing comes only after several revisions.

Read the Landrum text. This book is invaluable because it not only describes how to write research papers, it also describes how to build logical arguments. Critical thinking and reasoning are essential to write well in psychology.

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A substantial literature review is required in this course. Details are available at the links below. Writing Aids Bibliography Guidelines Please write a literature review in 3-4 sentences.

This page details the course’s main writing assignment. The students will work on it all semester.

Student write a substantial literature review on a psychological topic. That is, most of your articles should be from peer-reviewed psychology journals. This literature review must also be original. So, if you wrote a comparable paper for another class, don’t utilize the same topic here (this will also help you avoid the academic dishonest behavior turning in the same work for two different grades). The literature review must be 8 pages long and contain 10 references.

Reviews of literature do more than describe research. They synthesize data and analyze research. Literature evaluations are challenging and time intensive, but you should be prepared by the conclusion of the semester. I’ve included further details regarding these tasks below.

Writing a review

Pick a topic for your literature review. A contemporary, well-researched, and precise topic. Make it specific enough that you can thoroughly research it.

Find scholarly papers on your subject (these must come from primary, scholarly sources only; most of your sources should be empirical peer-reviewed journal articles). Assess the value of each article you find. Decide if the publication is obsolete (is it a “classic” study or just old?) and if it fulfills the topic and paper needs. Is it useful? Is there anything new in the article?

Students should use recent articles (5–10 years). Avoid older articles unless they are “classic” or “important” on the topic. Classic publications are cited by everyone in the field or research area.

Analyze each article. Rephrase key points. Paraphrase the primary claims and the supporting evidence. Take your time with each piece (reread it several times) to ensure you fully comprehend and can articulate it.

It is not uncommon for students to read an empirical piece three times before writing about it in their own terms.

Synthesize it. Organize your information by topic or subtopic once you’ve mastered your sources. Make links and parallels between studies. Examine disparities and hypothesize why they exist. Be suspicious of the claims made—does the facts back them up? Ideas, statements, and arguments should be arranged.

So write it!

Include an intro and a body.

Set the scene by defining broad issues.

Explain the review’s structure and why certain sources were omitted.

Examine patterns in the topic’s literature.

Discuss theories, methods, evidence, and conclusions.

Identify research gaps

Include conclusions that shed light on the review’s relationship to the greater field of study.

Annotated bibliography

Write the review in APA style.

Include a title page, abstract, body (with only necessary headers and subheadings), and reference section.

Include at least 10 references.

This review should be 8-15 pages long (this excludes the title page, abstract, and references). To attain this length, simplify your work and convey your thoughts clearly.

Remember

Your review should

Place your study in the context of previous research in the topic.

Explain the main theories in the subject or field.

It may establish future research needs by identifying knowledge gaps.

Tips for writing a literature review

Do

Prepare your paper before writing.

The paper should flow smoothly from one idea to the next (see Mitchell, Jolley, & O’Shea, 2013, pp. 18-19).

Refer to the Mitchell, Jolley, and O’Shea text.

If you need support, go to the success center or clever thinking.

Don’t

Simply rewrite an existing review

Overuse of quotes in the paper

Using secondary sources (use primary articles published in peer reviewed scholarly journals)

Include anecdotes

Separately discuss each article as though creating an abstract

Course tasks: Several assignments will help you study prior topics and finish academic papers.

Complete the literature review assignments.

Week: task

1: APA task

2: Information literacy assignment (two). You’ll need to find and list a lot of citations connected to your issue, then go through the list and remove those that don’t fit your needs).

2: Plagiarism task*

2: Summarize a text

(3) A final reference list

4: Justify and outline your literature review

6: Submit a draft for review (optional)

*To continue in the course, students must demonstrate competency or mastery in each of these activities. These tasks assist ensure that only individuals ready to finish the course can proceed. To master these assignments, a student should seek tutoring, spend more time on the course, or drop and retake it when they have more time to study and practice.

Plagiarism

Students who plagiarize risk failing the course and receiving a zero on their paper. The software that students use to submit their work will notify the instructor to any similar sentences or phrases. Remember to write your report in your own words to avoid plagiarism. Your sentences should be unlike the news you read. If you must quote text, do so sparingly and in quotation marks (and cite page numbers). This class requires students to write on psychology. Plagiarism in any form is not permitted. Plagiarism shall be documented, reported to the Dean of Students, and recorded permanently. I will contact you and ask you to acknowledge/sign a document about plagiarism. Plagiarism puts students in jeopardy.

Success tips:

Write. Refresh. Revise. I suggest finishing early and letting them “rest” before revising. After completing a draft, read it, tweak it, and improve it. Nobody writes well on the first try. Revisions are required for brilliant writing.

Read Landrum. That this book not only explains how to write research papers, but also how to create logical arguments. Writing in psychology requires critical thinking and reasoning.