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HSERV 268 - Research Methods : Prof. Spencer: Your Assignment

This guide will help students in Prof. Spencers Research Methods class with the Literature Review assignment

Your Assignment

This is not the complete assignment! For full instructions log in to BrightSpace.

Literature Review Assignment

A literature review is a descriptive summary of research on a topic that has previously been studied. The purpose of a literature review is to inform readers of the significant knowledge and ideas that have been established on a topic. Its purpose is to compare, contrast and/or connect findings that were identified when reviewing researchers' work. Oftentimes, literature reviews are written to ground a study in a particular context of what is known about a subject in order to establish a foundation for the topic (or question) being researched.

The purpose of this assignment is to facilitate your abilities to research a topic of study so you can learn to (1) identify and formulate an inquiry question that defines what you'd like to learn, (2) apply your knowledge on reading research that you've learned in class, (3) analyze information found in educational journal articles, and (4) synthesize new knowledge into a written literature review.

Assignment Description:

For this assignment you are asked to complete a literature review on a topic of your choice. You are asked to locate at least 5 journal articles on your topic and write a 5-7 page literature review on the articles you've selected.


Steps to complete your literature review:

1. Choose a topic that you are interested in studying.

2. Formulate an inquiry question that specifically describes what would like to know about your educational topic.

3. Go to the library to search for and locate journals that include your topic's information.

4. Find articles, read the abstracts, and skim the articles to determine if they correspond well to your topic AND inquiry question.

5. Select at least 5 journal articles and photocopy them for your project.

6. Read your articles and begin to sort and classify them according to their findings.

7. Organize your articles by sorting and classifying their findings in a meaningful way, always considering your original topic and inquiry question.

8. Write an outline for your literature review.

9. Write your review.


The paper should include in-text citations and a bibliography according to APA format.


You can get help with your research project from a librarian either by going to the library in person or emailing the librarian who taught your research session (see the Help tab).

For assistance organizing your thoughts and writing your paper, see the Library and Tutoring Help tab for hours and ways to contact the Writing Center. 

For additional information on your assignment and due dates ask Professor Spencer

What is a Peer Reviewed Scholarly Article?

How to Read a Peer Reviewed Scholarly Article

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