Review Writing Details
Due: ½ of a draft
for peer review to the respective D2L forum by 5 p.m., Monday, March 23
and revised literature review to the respective dropbox by 11:59 p.m.,
Wednesday, March 25
this section-by-section (detailed) guide aims to provide you with
1) thoughts/questions to help you brainstorm with brainstorming and drafting all
sections and with 2) understanding each section. Prior to attempting this
paper, you might re-read “What is a Literature Review?” to get a greater sense
of what the writing assignment and learning objectives are. In the beginning,
you can expect to grapple with an extended definition of summary as
described below in section IV as well as with conceptual ideas/strategies such
as: synthesis, assessment, research methods, and future implications. I
encourage you to read carefully what’s provided in this document and watch the
video I will share on Monday, March 23 for more explanations of these
concepts/strategies. Also, do check out the “Lit. Review Formatting &
Source Guidelines” in the module for additional paper requirements.
Getting Started: One Strategy
After reading “What is a Literature
Review,” begin carefully choosing six credible, accurate, reasonable, and supportive
sources as described in part III. (Literature review) below. Keep in mind, you
need not select sources that are lengthy.
Read your six sources and allow time to
do so. Be sure to take good notes as you read. Specifically, you might jot down
your responses to A-D in section IV, for each one you read. In that way, you’ll
have that section brainstormed after you’re done with this part.
After reading your six sources, begin
brainstorming all other sections below.
Once your brainstorming is complete, begin
outlining your ideas to create some organization for drafting. Lastly, draft
without being critical of your writing at this point. It’s enough to draft
ideas with clarity in this paper.
introduction presents an even clearer topic and research question now that
you’ve had much time to read and write about it. It should be more precise to
what you will focus on and present in the argumentative research paper. If you
need help, use your resources. In short, the intro answers:
Start the intro. with an interesting
hook. (e.g. a fact that your readers might not know or realize, a brief
anecdote, or an interesting question that you follow with an answer.)
What is your topic? (not the research
question, just the topic) Lead into this thought by connecting your hook to the
topic with flow.
What is the significance of the topic? Lead
into the significance of your topic from the topic --- showing the connection
between the two.
More specific, what is the research question
you will address? Again, lead into the research question from the topic showing
how you developed this question from a broad topic.
What is the main purpose/objective of this
paper? Lastly, lead into the purpose by linking the last thought with it, again,
for connection and flow between ideas.
In this new
paragraph, write a brief overview of the research question and the issue you
are addressing. You mentioned both the overview and question in the intro. Now extend
your thinking about them both in this section. See the sample paper for ideas.
III. Literature review
This is the heart of your paper where
you summarize, assess, and synthesize sources in one large section as you see
in the sample paper.
this section, you are to include three(3)
sub-headings or categories that brieflysummarize,
mainly assesssources; if you
scroll down the page, you will see each one color-coded with an explanation.
The subheadings or categories
are the same as yourreasons in the brainstorming exercise you completed
earlier in the semester for approval.
After you have selected three reasons from
your brainstorming form to write this paper, turn them into sub-headings. (see
sample paper) Then, find two (2) newsources, specifically researchstudiesthat
support each sub-heading. Hence, you should have six (6) sources in total that
you summarize, assess,
and synthesizein this section
of the paper. Choose carefully, three full-text, scholarly library sources and
three internet sources. They should be of quality: credibility, accurate, reasonableand
supportive. Apply your knowledge of what it means to locate and evaluate
quality sources as we’ve discussed. The purposeof using new sources in this
paper is to 1) increase your knowledge of your topic and more specifically the
research question you’ve constructed, 2) to weed out sources that will and
will not work to support and counter your stance in the argumentative
research paper, and 3) to affirm or reject the stance you’ve taken up until
How to summarize:
summary-of-sources section presents the research, knowledge, and analysis
that the literature offers about your research topic. This section
or aspects studied,
accepted interpretations or theories,
disputed or opposing claims, and
unanswered questions you still have about your research topic. Do not simply summarize for general,main
ideas. In this paper, your summary is to extend our thinking by addressing
A thru D above. For example, if you were
reading and examining the topic of standardized testing, you might address
(one issue) ---the ACT is limited in the way it tests students’ knowledge of
(one theory) --- might state something like, standardized tests are designed by
individuals who have little to no cultural knowledge of the very students who
take the tests. Thus, on the ACT, questions in the Reading section
problematically pose questions that lack linguistic and cultural diversity.
opposing claim)--- might suggest that the reading section of the ACT is
sufficient for testing the reading knowledge of students from diverse
backgrounds regardless of linguistic differences.
questions) might pose the following questions:
the ACT an effective and fair assessment of students’ knowledge of reading?
might the test lack the ability to assess the nuances of reading skills?
might students’ anxiety at the time of test taking impede their ability to
focus and do their best on the test? *These are mere examples. Be sure to
address more than one issue, theory, opposing claim, and question for A thru D.
How you synthesize:
The term “synthesis” means to combine separate
elements to form a whole. Writing teachers often use this term when they assign
students to write a literature review or other paper that requires the use of a
variety of sources. When writing teachers use this term, they often hope that
students will write a synthesis that
shows a variety of connections or relationships between sources so that their
paper is not organized source-by-source but are organized topic-by-topic to
create a whole text. See the sample texts to see synthesis at work. See the
you are toassess:
requires that you do the following: discuss, analyze, and evaluate your
sources. In doing so, you are to interpret and evaluate the knowledge of each
author so to raise questions before considering them in your next paper, the
argumentative research paper. More
specifically, you are to discuss and evaluate the significanceof various
conclusions, the completeness of individual studies, the research
methods used, substantial areas of disagreement, and the consistency
of the result or research findings.Try to be as thorough as possible. Challenging
the results of a professional study with perhaps one isolated observation or
opinion will reveal your naiveté more than any real weakness in the study.
Instead, show readers that you are knowledgeable from having read and
understood your topic well.
your evaluation avoiding excessive use of the first person (I, me,
my, mine); doing so will shift the reader’s focus away from the subject and
onto you, the writer.
you discuss and evaluate the knowledge and issues with regards to your research
question, raise your own questions,and draw readers’attention to a specific
need(s) for future research. Refer directly to all articles from your summary
sectionand point to the importance of the topic being understood as well as the
reasons you speak to this significance.
V. Works Cited: Be sure to consult MLA works cited guidelines
at owl.purdue.edu or at
addition to the works cited page, be sure to properly format the paper in MLA
style as with all others.
Literature Review Formatting & Source Guidelines (Required)
Please use the following format when writing your paper.
Format: Typed, double spaced, 1” margins (please check the default on your word-processing
software - usually the default is set to 1.25" instead of 1"), Times New Roman, 12 pt font.
Pagination is needed as well as the upper left heading on the first page of the paper as usual.
Length: 3 minimum, 5 maximum pages (This does not include the Work Cited page)
Required Sources: At least six (6) quality scholarly, academic full-text sources from the KSU
Library, are to be presented in your paper. Use what you have learned about locating and
evaluating sources to skillfully select your sources that meet the CARS quality test as we
discussed in class. Even though most library articles have been peer-reviewed, they are not
100% trustworthy, fair, and objective.
Other Source Info:
- Sources must be no older than four years. (Exception: Up to two (2) sources that show historical data are excluded from this four-year stipulation.)
- Abstracts and summaries of articles are not sufficient by themselves if you wish for them to be considered a source; you must use and access a full-text article considering what it means to use quality sources from the KSU library. The library is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mon.-Fri. and closed on Sat. and Sun. If you need help finding sources, remember, the “Chat” feature is available as well as librarians who will provide one-on-one assistance.
- Please note that even though you may take issue with aspects of the research and findings in your sources, it is very rare for the discussion to include a complete dismissal of any one source. If you read a source and find that it has nothing or little of value to offer on your topic and research question, do not include it in the literature review. By choosing to include sources in your literature review, you imply that you have already determined that they will offer something that is worth value to your argumentative research paper.
What is a Literature Review?
A literature review is a summary, evaluation, and synthesis of significant research on a particular subject. Lit reviews are often at the beginning of a larger research article, to introduce a topic and provide its history and development, but they could also stand on their own as separate publications. However, you will not be writing a large research article at the end of the semester. Rather, you will write a smaller research essay. Thus, the lit review, like the other papers, is to extend your thinking and reading for later research writing. Below are purposes of the lit review and how it connects to writing the research paper.
Purpose of the lit review for the research paper:
- Provides context for a research paper
- Explores the history and development of a topic
- Examines the scholarly conversation surrounding the topic
- Shows relationships between studies
- Examines gaps in research on the topic
Lit reviews are not simply summaries of the different articles or sources in general written on a topic. They should take a critical eye to published research to provide insight on the topic.
What counts as "literature"?
"Literature" covers everything relevant that is written on a topic: books, journal articles, newspaper articles, historical records, government reports, theses and dissertations, etc. However, I will share specific guidelines as to what type of literature you may include in the lit review paper.