My professors instructions: A literature review is a survey of scholarly sources that provides an overview of a particular topic. Literature reviews are a collection of the most relevant and significant publications regarding that topic in order to provide a comprehensive look at what has been said on the topic and by whom. The basic components of a literature review include: a description of the publication; a summary of the publication’s main points; a discussion of gaps in research; an evaluation of the publication’s contribution to the topic. Here is a step-by-step approach to drafting your literature review: Define Your Goal If you are writing an argument paper, create a thesis statement with a clear position. If you are evaluating scientific theories, develop a hypothesis to examine. If you are providing a self- contained review of writings on a topic, state your project’s purpose. At the beginning of any paper, define your paper’s purpose so that the literature review will be anchored to a specific point of view. In this case, it should be anchored to your research question within the framework of your research topic. Do Your Research Review several texts that most closely pertain to your topic and position, and are written by relevant scholars. Understand who the top voices are in your topic’s academic field, and be sure to include the most pertinent publications by those scholars. (Bibliometrics can be helpful to which sources are most often cited.) Ground Summary in Relevance As you summarize each publication, provide the context for that publication’s importance by tying its main points to your specific question, hypothesis, or project statement. How does it relate? Establish its relevance to the discussion. Develop Review Logically Think of your literature review as a development of an argument—what were the earliest ideas on the topic and how did they grow and evolve in the academic conversation of these publications? First things first. Include References/Works Cited List As you are writing the literature review you will mention the author names and the publication years in your text, but you will still need to compile comprehensive citations for each entry at the end of your review. These must in full APA citation style (please refer to APA references style guide).
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