Literature Review

Using the attached documents and adding to them.   The first draft of the literature review is attached as well.  

Final Assignment will be written in current APA format, must be a minimum of 16 pages (not including the title page, abstract, and references), and must utilize at least 18 scholarly references. The final format must include the following:

Title page; Abstract; (attached) Outline; (attached) Introduction (no longer than 1 page); Findings (a minimum of 13 pages); Conclusions, recommendations, and suggestions for further study (a minimum of 2 pages); and References that are current (less than 3 years) or important for historical background. (included in annotated bibliography)

A literature review is written to highlight specific arguments and ideas in a field of study. By highlighting these arguments, the writer attempts to show what has been studied in the field and also where there are weaknesses, gaps, or areas needing further study. The literature review must also demonstrate to the reader why the writers research is useful, necessary, important, and valid.  Asking the following questions will assist you in sifting through your sources and organizing your literature review. Remember, your Literature Review: Final Assignment organizes the previous research in light of what you are planning to do in your own project.

What’s been done in this topic area to date? What are the significant discoveries, key concepts, arguments, and/or theories that scholars have put forward? Which are the important works? On which particular areas of the topic has previous research concentrated? Have there been developments over time? What methodologies have been used? Are there any gaps in the research? Are there areas that have not been looked at closely yet but should be? Are there new ways of looking at the topic? Are there improved methodologies for researching this subject? What future directions should research in this subject take? How will your research build on or depart from current and previous research on the topic? What contribution will your research make to the field?

How Do I Organize and Structure the Literature Review? There are several ways to organize and structure a literature review.  You will be using the thematic structure in this review. In a thematic review, you will group and discuss your sources in terms of the themes or topics they cover. This method is often a stronger one organizationally, and it can also assist you in resisting the urge to summarize your sources. By grouping themes or topics of research together, you will be able to demonstrate the types of topics that are important to your research. For example, if the topic of the literature review is improving productivity in organizations, then there might be separate sections of research involving service-oriented businesses, production-oriented businesses, non-profit organizations, governmental organizations, etc. 

Within each section of a thematic literature review, it is important to discuss how the research relates to other studies (how is it similar or different, what other studies have been done, etc.) as well as to demonstrate how it relates to your own work. This is what the review is for; do not leave this connection out.

The following are some points to address when writing about specific works you are reviewing. In dealing with a paper/argument/theory, you need to assess it (clearly understand and state the claim) and analyze it (evaluate its reliability, usefulness, and validity). Look for the following points as you assess and analyze the readings. You do not need to state them all explicitly, but keep them in mind as you write your review:

Be specific and be succinct. Briefly state specific findings listed in an article, specific methodologies used in a study, or other important points. Literature reviews are not the place for long quotes or an in-depth analysis of each point. Be selective. You are attempting to reduce a lot of information into a small space. Mention just the most important points (those most relevant to the review’s focus) in each work you review. Is it a current article? How old is it? Have its claims, evidence, or arguments been superseded by more recent work? If it is not current, is it important for historical background? What specific claims are made? Are they stated clearly? What support is given for those claims? o What evidence and what type (experimental, statistical, anecdotal, etc.) are offered? Is the evidence relevant? Sufficient? o What arguments are given? What assumptions are made and are they warranted? A word of caution: It is absolutely essential that you understand your article. If you do not understand the article, do not use it. Also, do not depend on the abstract or the conclusion for a full understanding of what the article says; you can often be misled.

As previously stated, the Literature Review: Final Assignment will be written in current APA format, must be a minimum of 16 pages (not including the title page, abstract, and references), and must utilize at least 15 scholarly references. The final format must include the following: Title page; Abstract; Outline; Introduction (no longer than 1 page); Findings (a minimum of 13 pages); Conclusions, recommendations, and suggestions for further study (a minimum of 2 pages); and References that are current (less than 3 years) or important for historical background.