Do not â€œrecycleâ€ any work from any previous courses you have taken. Your research paper will be a comprehensive thematic review of ten recent (within 3-5 years) peer-reviewed articles from academic journals related to your topic. Competency in the APA v. 6 format is required of all BAS graduates. What is a Literature Review? A literature review discusses published information in a particular subject area, and sometimes information in a particular subject area within a certain time period. It has an organizational pattern and combines both summary and synthesis. The summary is a recap of the important information of the source; the synthesis is a re-organization, or a reshuffling, of that information. It might give a new interpretation of old material or combine new with old interpretations. Or it might trace the intellectual progression of the field, including major debates. Depending on the situation, the literature review may evaluate the sources and advise the reader on what is the most pertinent or relevant information. It further discusses the authorsâ€ convergence and/or divergence on a topic or topics. It points out or discusses the different ways researchers have treated the topic. Point out any connections between the sources especially where one source built upon prior study. How is a Literature Review Different from an Academic Research Paper? While the main focus of an academic research paper is to support your own argument, the focus of a literature review is to summarize and synthesize the arguments and ideas of others.â€ The academic research paper also covers a range of sources, but it is usually a select number of sources, because the emphasis is on the argument. Likewise, a literature review can also have an “argument,” but it is not as important as covering a number of sources. In a literature review the emphasis is on the sources not the argument. In short, an academic research paper and a literature review contain some of the same elements. In fact, many academic research papers will contain a literature review section. But it is the aspect of the study (the argument or the sources) that is emphasized that determines what type of document it is. Why Write Literature Reviews? The purpose of a literature review is to help you explain how the question to be investigated fits into the larger picture and why you have approached the topic the way you have. This section of a scholarly report allows the reader to be brought up to date regarding the state of research in the field and familiarizes him or her to any contrasting perspectives and viewpoints on the topic. Literature reviews provide you with a handy guide to a particular topic. If you have limited time to conduct research, literature reviews can give you an overview or act as a stepping stone. For professionals, they are useful reports that keep them up to date with what is current in the field. For scholars, the depth and breadth of the literature review emphasizes the credibility of the writer in his or her field. Literature reviews also provide a solid background for a research paper’s investigation. Comprehensive knowledge of the literature of the field is essential to most research papers.â€ What is the Format for Literature Reviews? Just like most academic papers, literature reviews also must contain at least three basic elements: an introduction or background information section; the body of the review containing the discussion of sources; and, finally, a conclusion and recommendations section to end the paper. Outlined below is the format to follow: Title page Abstract page Introduction: Gives a quick idea of the topic of the literature review, such as the central theme or organizational pattern. One page. Body: Contains your discussion of sources and is organized thematically (see below for more information on each). At least five pages. Conclusions and Recommendations: Discuss what you have drawn from reviewing literature so far. One page. Reference page The paper is to be written in strict conformance to APA 6th ed. Manual standards, and contain at least five pages of content (excluding the title page, abstract, and references pages) utilizing at least 10 scholarly references. It is highly recommended that each student download and read the instructions to avoid any stress created by issues that are the result of waiting until the last minute. At least two levels of APA headings should be used throughout the paper. In all instances, be sure to use the APA guidelines for citations and references. The paper must not be a series of quotations. Here is a helpful library link to preparing a paper in APA format: What is a Thematic Literature Review? A thematic review would have subtopics based upon factors that relate to the theme or issue. Sometimes, though, you might need to add additional sections that are necessary for your study, but do not fit in the organizational strategy of the body. What other sections you include in the body is up to you. Include only what is necessary. Here are a few other sections you might want to consider: Current Situation: Information necessary to understand the topic or focus of the literature review. History: The chronological progression of the field, the literature, or an idea that is necessary to understand the literature review, if the body of the literature review is not already a chronology. Methods and/or Standards: The criteria you used to select the sources in your literature review or the way in which you present your information. For instance, you might explain that your review includes only peer-reviewed articles and journals. Questions for Further Research: What questions about the field has the review sparked? How will you further your research as a result of the review?â€ Important Points to Consider
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