Unit Project:  Literature Review
Length: 4-6 pages, not including bibliography (at least 5 sources)
Submission Format:  Due September 27 by 11:55 PM via Sakai “Assignments”

Using the research you have collected, write a review of the literature on the topic.

Audience: Literature reviews are written for a range of audiences. They may be useful for scientists who specialize in your area, but also for scientists who need to know about the state of research on a given issue. These audiences have a scientific background, but they are not necessarily experts on the issue or topic at hand, or they are not familiar with the most current research.
Objectives: The purpose of this assignment is to familiarize you with conventions of scientific discourse, including the genre of the review article, citation styles, and synthesizing and summarizing research.
Contents: Unlike scientific reports, which follow a fairly standard format in most journals, literature reviews can have different organization schemes, depending on the subject, your objectives, and the editorial guidelines of the journal. Most have an introduction, body (including headings and sub-headings), a conclusion or summary, and a list of works cited. Some may include an abstract and/or table of contents at the beginning. Your review should include the following:

  • Introduction: In this section, you should orient the readers so that they know what topic will be addressed and why it is important for them to know about it. You should define the topic and inform the reader about the approach you are taking and give them a sense of what aspects of the topic will be covered and what aspects will not be covered.
  • Body: Include at least two sections here describing different trends, themes, or approaches relevant to your topic. In each section, do not simply summarize research—build a focused discussion of that topic. Rather than moving through each source one at a time, develop comparisons, contrasts, or similarities between articles or studies.
  • Conclusion: Summarize the major points of the literature review, and add a final perspective or conclusion. Here, you should refer back to the question or objective set out in the introduction and to the relationships or patterns you developed in the body section. What is the significance of the research you have reviewed? What problems still need to be solved? What research is still needed?
  • References: Prepare a list of the sources you have cited in your article using APA or CSE citation (you must have at least 5 sources).