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August 27, 2019

Essay #3: Literature Review

Assignment Description

For this assignment, you will write a 6-8 page (1500-2000 word) descriptive summary of research on a social, political, economic, or cultural issue that interests you. The goals for this assignment are to explore the scholarly knowledge that already exists for your topic, and to compare, contrast, and connect the ideas found in your research. Prior to beginning your essay, you will compose a research question about your topic that will serve as the cornerstone of your literature review. Once you have developed a question–and that question has been approved by your instructor–you’ll conduct research that will help you answer it. You are asked to incorporate at least 5 scholarly sources in your literature review. The final draft of your essay should include the following parts:

  • ABSTRACT
    •  Summarizes your paper. Note that this section should not provide context or attempt to interest a reader in your paper the way an introduction does. Just simply state the main points you will cover.
  • INTRODUCTION
    • Defines and identifies the topic and establishes the reason for the literature review. (So what?)
    • Provides background information and points to general trends in what has been published about the topic.
    • Presents research questions and provides a succinct answer to that question in a 1-2 sentence thesis statement. 
  • BODY OF THE REVIEW
    • Groups articles into thematic clusters, or subtopics and proceeds in a logical order from cluster to cluster.
    • Emphasizes the main findings or arguments of the articles in the student’s own words.
    • Presents the research, knowledge, and analysis that the literature offers concerning your research question.
    • Interprets, evaluates, and makes connections between sources.
    • Keeps quotations from sources to an absolute minimum.
  • CONCLUSION
    • Summarizes the major themes that emerged in the review and identifies areas of controversy in the literature.
    • Pinpoints strengths and weaknesses among the articles (innovative methods used, gaps in research, problems with theoretical frameworks, etc.)
    • Concludes by formulating questions that need further research within the topic, and provides some insight into the relationship between that topic and the larger field of study or discipline.
  • WORKS CITED PAGE (Note: This does page not count towards the word limit)

Throughout the writing process, you will engage in a series of short writing assignments designed to help you hone your research and writing skills while examining scholarly texts.

  • RESEARCH TOPIC REFLECTION
    • Identify a specific research question to guide your inquiry. Write a short reflection (250-500 words) on what inspired your desire for further inquiry on this topic, including how you came up with the question, why it might be important, and how you plan to explore the question in your research.
  • ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY
    • Your annotated bibliography (500 -1000 words) should consist of at least 3 scholarly sources that you have deemed relevant to your topic and/or proposed research question.  For each source you will need to:
      • Cite the text in proper APA format
      • Write a brief annotation (approx. 150+ words) that summarizes the source in your own words and explains the source’s relevance and importance to your topic.   
  • REFLECTION
    • Along with your final draft, you will submit a 1-2 page (250-500 word) Reflection in which you address several questions about your experience writing this essay, including (but not limited to):
      • How did you think about and refine your research question?
      • Did you have trouble finding some information and if so, how did you overcome this challenge?
      • Were there any sources you found while conducting the research that you discarded? If so, why?
      • What problems did you encounter in analyzing your text and how did you solve them?

Format

6-8 pages (1500-2000 words); Size 12 font, Times New Roman, standard margins, double-spaced. Cite all sources in proper APA format. You must include a Works Cited page with your essay. *Note: Works Cited page does not count toward the word count.

Submission

Upload a digital copy of your Final Draft and 1-2 page Reflection via Blackboard before 8:00 a.m. on Monday, Dec 2nd.

Timeline

NOV 6 REVIEW ESSAY #3 ASSIGNMENT
NOV 11 RESEARCH TOPIC REFLECTION DUE
NOV 18 ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY DUE
NOV 20 ESSAY #3 FIRST DRAFT DUE
NOV 27 PEER REVIEW COMMENTS DUE
DEC 2 ESSAY #3 FINAL DRAFT + REFLECTION DUE

Evaluation Rubric

Content — 30%

  • Does your essay thoughtfully compare, contrast and make connections between the sources cited?
  • Does your essay effectively summarize the major ideas of sources cited and relate that knowledge back to your research question?
  • Does your essay demonstrate an insightful synthesis of the source information, including analysis of gaps in and/or limitations of the research?

Development — 25%

  • Does your essay cite at least 5 scholarly sources specifically related to your research question?
  • Does your essay clearly draw thematic connections between sources?

Organization – 20%

  • Does your essay have a coherent structure? Are your ideas united and logically organized in a way that leads to a thought-provoking conclusion?
  • Are your paragraphs focused on distinct units of thought, controlled by specific and detailed topic sentences?
  • Do you implement appropriate, clear, and smooth transitions?

Research Question — 10%

  • Do you clearly state your research question and significance of the issue addressed?

Style — 10%

  • Are the sentences well-worded and well-constructed? Should some sentences be combined for clarity? Should others be broken into two or more sentences, so ideas receive proper emphasis?
  • Do you use quotations and APA citations effectively?

Grammar & Mechanics — 5%

  • Have you proofread and edited your piece for grammatical and punctuation errors?

Grade Weights

Essay #3 – Literature Review 25%
  • Topic Reflection
1%
  • Annotated Bibliography
5%
  • First Draft + Peer Review
1%
  • Final Draft
17%
  • Reflection
1%
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